Alex Salmond’s shock new electoral strategy could see extra pro-independence MSPs returned to Holyrood, according to a polling expert.
Damian Lyons Lowe, chief executive of polling company Survation, crunched the numbers from studies we published this week and predicted the Alba party could take as many as eight seats in the Scottish Parliament.
He said around 11% of the current SNP constituency vote goes to other parties, particularly the Greens, on the proportionately elected second regional ballot paper.
To plot the route to parliament, Survation assumed five points of the SNP’s regional support go to Mr Salmond’s new single-issue independence party.
If two points of Green party support also shifts, the Alba party would have seven points.
Translated to seats, the expert suggests the pro-independence bloc could rise by five from a projected 78 to 83 of the total 129 places in parliament.
Based on Survation’s recent study, that would leave the SNP with a slender majority at 67, while the Greens and Alba are both on eight. The Conservatives might take the biggest hit in that scenario.
If the new party hits just 5% on the list vote, it would be expected to dent the SNP and Greens support but make no difference to Survation’s original predicted 78-seat pro-independence grouping.
Mr Lyons Lowe said: “Were Alba to gain 7%, for example, the losing parties would be the Conservatives, Labour and the Greens. The SNP seat count would be unchanged.
“It is difficult to characterise this move as an ‘anti SNP’ move, therefore, and this – and the electoral maths – may attract SNP voters.”