ALEX Salmond has refused to define what he means by an independence ‘supermajority’ in terms of MSP numbers, despite it being the slogan and basis of his new party.

The former First Minister and Alba leader repeatedly dodged questions about a numerical definition, and refused to accept the formula laid down in law.

The 2016 Scotland Act defines a super-majority as two-thirds of MSPs, meaning 86 of the 129 at Holyrood.

The Herald:

Instead, Mr Salmond would only say he wanted as many pro-Yes MSPs as possible, and the more there were the greater the prospectsfor securing independence.

Mr Salmond’s vagueness about what actually constitutes a supermajority is in spite of him predicating the Alba Party on the idea of achieving one.

When he launched his new list-only party last month, he said the aim was to pick up list votes that would otherwise be “wasted” on the SNP to achieve a supermajority for Yes, putting pressure on Boris Johnson to grant an independence referendum.

At a campaign launch today, he again stood in front of a backdrop saying that voting for Alba was voting “for the independence supermajority”.

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But asked to define a supermajority in MSP numbers, Mr Salmond deflected the question by talking about a recent poll and his aspirations, but never settled on a figure.

He said: “A Sunday Times poll at the weekend suggested almost 80 independenc supporting MSPs if you counted the SNP, the Green Party and Alba together.

“I think we can go higher than that but that of course depends on the verdict of the people.”

Pushed again for a clear definition of supermajority, and reminded of the two-thirds of MSPs definition in the 2016 Scotland Act, Mr Salmond said: “That is not the definition of supermajority we’re using.”

Asked what definition he was using, Mr Salmond again refused to give an exact number he could be judged by.

He said: “If there were 70 MSPs supporting independence that would be a majority, and I’d expect to see that majority move forward with an independence platform.

“If there were 80 MSPs supporting independence, as the polls at the weekend indicated, then we’d be well on our way to a supermajority, and indeed if I’m not mistaken the Sunday Times described that as a supermajority.

“If there were 90 MSPs, which I think is well within our reach, for the independence supporting parties, then that would be a bigger supermajority.

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“The point we’re making in the campaign is that the stronger the supermajority of MSPs are supporting independence in the Scottish Parliament, the more the balance of power will be tilted in Scotland’s favour.

“And the more we’ll transform an argument which has taken place party to party, prime minister to first minister, will be revealed and shown to be an argument about Boris Johnson as a Tory prime minister taking on a parliament and a nation, which will be a fundamentally weaker position for Boris Johnson, and a fundamentally stronger position for Scotland.

“The more independence supporting MSPs there are, then the better things are going to be for Scotland, and that’s why a vote for Alba on the regional list is the right way to deliver it.”

As First Minister and SNP leader in 2011, Mr Salmond won 69 MSPs, leading to the 2014 referendum, but did not describe it then as a supermajority.