DOUGLAS Ross is still taking a threat to unionism posed by Alex Salmond’s Alba Party seriously despite the first poll including the former first minister’s new project putting support at just three per cent.

Mr Salmond’s party is running candidates on the list ballot at May’s election in order to create a ‘supermajority’ at Holyrood of pro-independence MSPs, which he says piles more pressure on Boris Johnson to take calls for separation more seriously.

But the Alba Party was dealt a major blow after a poll by Survation on behalf of DC Thomson found Mr Salmond’s party are only harnessing 3% of support on the list ballots from Scots – while the former first minister is less popular with Scots than even the Prime Minister.

READ MORE: New poll says Alex Salmond's Alba Party set for just 3 per cent support

There was suggestion that the rise of Alba could potentially pull support away from the Scottish Greens, who also back independence – but the Survation poll shows Green support is holding up.

But the Scottish Conservative leader is still taking the threat posed by Mr Salmond seriously.

Mr Ross said: “I would never under-estimate the threat from the nationalists.

“Alex Salmond still has several weeks still to garner enough support to elect more nationalists MSPs who will see our parliament 100% focused on another referendum rather than our recovery.

“I am not treating this first opinion poll as a signal that we can negate the threat posed by his new party and what he would seek to do should he be elected to Holyrood.”

Speaking to journalists and bloggers yesterday, Mr Salmond suggested that “negotiations” should begin with Westminster about independence if a majority of MSPs in favour or separation is elected to Holyrood.

READ MORE: Douglas Ross not taking second place ahead of Labour 'for granted'

He added that a referendum could take place, but was not the only method to secure independence for Scotland.

Mr Ross said Mr Salmond’s view was proof the Alba Party and the SNP are only interested in independence.

He said: “His comments just prove that the nationalists are only interested in another referendum as an outcome form this campaign and election. They are not interested in Scotland’s recovery.

“Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday that another referendum could be held in the recovery phase. Whether it’s Nicola Sturgeon’s nationalists or Alex Salmond’s nationalists, they are just going to focus on another referendum.”