The Alba Party made little impact amongst voters in Kirkcaldy despite the local MP defecting to the party, according to the area’s newly-elected MSP.
The SNP’s David Torrance told The Courier he hadn’t heard many voters even mention Alex Salmond’s pro-independence party.
Neale Hanvey, who represents Kirkcaldy in the House of Commons, joined fellow MP Kenny MacAskill in defecting in March.
Asked what impact he thought Alba would have on the SNP’s regional vote, Torrance said few voters had told his team they intended to split their vote.
Alba encouraged people to vote SNP in the constituency but Alba on the list to create a so-called “supermajority” for independence in the Scottish Parliament.
Torrance said: “We were out canvassing on the door steps, and we seen very little change from SNP one and two to Alba.
“It was hardly registering with us at all in the Kirkcaldy constituency across all the five council wards.
“It wasn’t a threat we saw.”
His comments came after Kenny MacAskill told reporters that the election had “come too soon” for Alba.
The former justice secretary said: “The fact is we’ve only had five weeks, we’ve faced a media blackout, but we’ve got two MPs, 20-odd councillors, and 5,000 members.
“So it’s onwards and upwards even if we’re not getting the result that we perhaps hoped for.”
Challenging the SNP
The party secured 689 regional list votes in Kirkcaldy, compared to 15,733 for the SNP.
McAskill told Global radio: “The Alba Party was quite clear.
“We supported a vote for the SNP, I voted SNP myself, but we’re not without challenging them.
“We cannot have a situation where they simply accept Boris Johnson saying you cannot have [a referendum] and we cannot accept the ongoing problems we’re facing in our economy, the threats to our NHS, and indeed the powers that are being stripped from our parliament.
“We will be critical friends of the SNP.
Former SNP MP, and recent defector to Alex Salmond’s Alba party, Kenny MacAskill says this was “an election too soon for Alba” as early signs suggest they’re unlikely to break through. #SP21 @LBC @LBCNews pic.twitter.com/XIEdasq08d
— Jack Foster (@jackfostr) May 7, 2021
“The independence movement is a broad church. It has people of many parties, not simply the SNP or Alba, and there’s people of no political parties. But we have to go forward.
“The SNP will be supported by Alba, but they have to deliver on what they have pledged and committed to the people of Scotland.”
Results for the Mid Scotland and Fife regional list are due Sunday.