Alex Salmond brushed off Alba’s crushing defeat at last week’s council elections by saying pro-independence parties must work together if a second referendum is held.
The ex-first minister said his party would now devote their “full energies” to pushing for independence.
And he said there are no excuses for the SNP not to deliver their pledge for a vote on Scotland leaving the UK by the end of 2023.
Nicola Sturgeon and senior SNP figures want to hold a referendum next year, but Westminster has repeatedly insisted the question was settled in 2014.
Mr Salmond had faced questions over whether his Alba Party – launched last year – would disband following their disaster in the local elections.
None of the party’s candidates were elected despite hopes long-established councillors who defected from the SNP would be voted in.
Mr Salmond had predicted Alba would make a “political breakthrough”.
The former SNP’s chief’s new party also failed to gain any seats at the Holyrood election last May.
But he remains insistent the Alba Party can still play a key role alongside the SNP and Greens in fighting for independence.
He told supporters in a video message last night: “We now focus our full energies on developing the independence case in anticipation of the referendum vowed next year.
‘We will unite’
“The Scottish Government have told us there is going to be a referendum on independence next year, no ifs no buts, so let’s take them at their word and make Alba’s distinctive contribution to that campaign.
“If the referendum transpires then we will unite to secure a yes vote for independence.
“Of course if it doesn’t, and somehow we are let down again, then there will be huge political change in Scotland in which Alba will be playing a strong part.”
Some senior Alba Party figures blamed the SNP for their defeat last week due to Nicola Sturgeon not urging supporters to rank other pro-indy parties on their ballot.
It came despite the anti-union Scottish Greens achieving their best ever result in a local government vote.
Fife Alba MP Neale Hanvey – who left the SNP last year – insisted he doesn’t owe his constituents a by-election despite his party’s unpopularity.
He said it would be “ludicrous” since he was elected as an independent after temporarily being suspended by Ms Sturgeon’s party before the 2019 UK election.