Alex Salmond has been compared with Nigel Farage in a swipe at the former first minister’s new pro-independence party.
Greens leader Patrick Harvie likened him to the Brexit campaigner in the battle for votes on Holyrood’s regional ballot. That’s where the Greens and Alba party will be hoping to secure MSPs on May 6, with both claiming they can provide more pro-independence politicians.
Mr Salmond said his fledgling group can increase the share of MSPs who want Scotland to leave the UK. However, Mr Harvie said there is no need for voters to switch from his party, which helped the SNP maintain the majority balance on the constitution since 2016.
Speaking on our new election newscast, streamed every afternoon online during the campaign, Mr Harvie heavily criticised the ex-SNP leader’s tactics.
“He’s a discredited figure, very clearly, he’s desperate to try and stay relevant in some way,” Mr Harvie said.
“There’s a really disturbing parallel with the way Ukip was built around Nigel Farage’s personality. I don’t think that’s the kind of politics that’s going to help Scotland.”
Promoting the Alba party, Mr Salmond has appeared to gloss over the Greens’ position on independence. Instead, he has claimed a bloc of Alba MSPs would create a “supermajority” and force Westminster to respond.
Mr Harvie said the concept was damaging and argued a simple majority – 50% plus one – is democratic.
“Scotland doesn’t need a supermajority, Scotland needs to respect its democratic process and we the need the UK to respect the democratic outcome of an election as well,” he said.
“A simple majority for an independence referendum will be mandate for doing that, just as a simple majority for any other policy is a fair, democratic mandate.”
Polls suggest the Greens could expand their tally of MSPs despite new support for Alba.
Mr Salmond is expected to set out more on his plans for achieving independence through Holyrood in a speech in Ellon on Tuesday.
Alba MP Kenny MacAskill said: “A simple majority has not moved the dial on independence one iota since 2016 – that is why independence supporters need to give their list vote to Alba who can help achieve independence rather than just talk about it.”