Jim Sillars backs Alex Salmond's Alba party
Jim Sillars, the former deputy leader of the SNP, has thrown his weight behind Alex Salmond’s Alba.
In an article for the Yours for Scotland blog, he said the “arithmetic” of backing the list only party was “incontestable.”
“SNP list votes are truly wasted ones. I know, I have been at counts and seen them pile up and up, without winning a single seat,” he added.
Sillars, who was a Labour MP in the 1970s, joined the SNP in 1980 and won the 1988 Glasgow Govan by-election, has long been a critic of Nicola Sturgeon’s leadership.
Shortly after Salmond’s new party launched, he said it “gives the independence voters a party that is not the SNP - which many, including me, with justification, believe is tainted with political corruption, and which is grossly incompetent in a whole range of its activities”.
In his blog post, Sillars said: "A list vote for Alba cannot be a wasted one, because it will count, and will return MSPs committed to independence.
“Alba’s strategy is the same as all other parts of the independence movement, and the aim of a supermajority is a tactic towards bringing that strategic aim to fruition.
“Once in place, that supermajority will need to devise and develop other tactics to advance independence. That will mean working from within parliament in close partnership with the movement outside of Holyrood. That has to march hand-in-hand with the post-pandemic reconstruction, which will be the people’s most immediate priority.”
Sillars also praised Salmond for his “tactical ability” in setting out “that there are many ways to skin the Westminster cat”.
Salmond said Sillars was “a serious voice in Scottish politics.”
He added: “Jim said that he would take a close look at Alba and our developing policy positions before deciding how to vote. I am therefore delighted to have his heavyweight endorsement for our campaign.”