ALEX Salmond will today lay out a “Route to Independence” as he launches his Alba Party’s national campaign on the 701st anniversary of the declaration of Arbroath.

The former First Minister said it would be a “strategy for immediate action” by Holyrood if his plan for an independence “supermajority” is realised in May.

A weekend poll suggested list-only Alba could win six MSPs, which when added to a projected 65 for the SNP and eight for the Greens would make a total of 79.

A supermajority is defined at Holyrood as two-thirds of MSPs, or 86.

Mr Salmond said: “The momentum in this election is with Alba as people warm to our message that only a list vote for Alba can deliver the Independence supermajority that will deliver independence for Scotland.

“Last week we unveiled our fantastic team of 32 candidates, surpassed the Scottish Liberal Democrats in membership and, if the polls are correct, look set to see MSPs elected [across] Scotland.

“As our message cuts through, that only a List vote for ALBA will deliver the Independence supermajority to drive Scotland towards Independence, so we will see more and more people rally to our cause.”

Alba also announced two more SNP defectors yesterday - former Aberdeenshire provost Hamish Vernal and former Edinburgh deputy lord provost Steve Cardownie.

Mr Vernal said: “I have been an SNP member since I was 16 years old so it is a considerable wrench to leave the party.

“However, the opportunity of building a supermajority for independence is too good to miss.

“My message to SNP voters is - give your list vote to Alba and make both votes count for Yes to Independence.

My message to the SNP leadership is lay off the negative personal attacks on Alba. It will do you no good in the North East of Scotland.”