THE MAJORITY of Scottish voters do not consider Alex Salmond a fit and proper person to become an MSP.

According to an exclusive poll for the Herald, 63 per cent of people do not believe the former First Minister is fit to hold political office at Holyrood.

Just 9% of women, and 14% of men thought it would be acceptable for the Alba party leader to return to Holyrood as an MSP, according to the poll conducted by BMG Research, while around a quarter (23%) of voters were unsure.

Mr Salmond appears to have more support among those in favour of independence, with 18% of ‘Yes’ voters agreeing it would be acceptable for him to be an MSP, compared to just 6% of ‘No’ voters.

READ MORE: Exclusive poll: SNP on course for majority at Holyrood election

Among the independence-supporting electorate, 56% believed he was not a fit and proper person for Holyrood, and 26% were undecided.

A total of 76% of people who do not support Scottish independence thought it would not be appropriate for Mr Salmond to become an MSP, with 18% unsure.

The survey was carried out between April 27 and 30 this year, with 1023 respondents aged 16 and over asked ‘In your opinion, is Alex Salmond a fit and proper person to be an MSP? '

Those who are planning to vote for his former party, the SNP , on May 6 were more accepting of the ex-First Minister’s potential return to Holyrood, with 16% backing his suitability. Just 9% of Scottish Conservative voters, 7% of Scottish Labour and 3% of Liberal Democrats agreed.

The Herald: STRITCHEN, SCOTLAND - MARCH 27: Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond poses for a portrait on March 27, 2021 in Strichen, Scotland. The former First Minister and SNP leader announced yesterday that he had formed the Alba Party to contest seats in

Older voters were less inclined to support Mr Salmond, with 74% of people over the age of 65 saying they do not think he is fit for for Holyrood.

A spokesman for Alba, when asked about the findings, said: “The people of the North East of Scotland will decide that on Thursday. That’s why we have elections.”

It comes after the Herald revealed yesterday that our exclusive poll suggests the SNP is set to win 68 seats in the May 6 elections, giving the party an overall majority of four.

Projections by polling expert Professor John Curtice showed Mr Salmond’s Alba party picking up two seats once the regional distribution of its support is taken into account.

However opinion on the constitution is still evenly split, with 50% backing independence and 50% supporting the union.

READ MORE: Scotland's budget deficit could be as high as 25 per cent of GDP, IFS warns

A poll for the Sunday Times, by Panelbase, predicted an SNP majority of one, with the Alba party gaining as many as three seats.

The Alba party said the results showed that voting SNP on the list was a “wasted” opportunity.

Mr Salmond said: “An SNP regional list vote is a wasted vote across Scotland and they are set to win zero list seats on Thursday.

"It is now vital that to ensure a big supermajority, with independence supporters giving the SNP their constituency vote but backing ALBA on the list.

“[The] polls show that the independence supporting MSPs could potentially reach 80 or even more. Once the people of Scotland have spoken on Thursday no British Prime Minister will be able to stand in our way, if we make independence a priority for the here and now, not the hereafter”.

The Herald: At the conference: Keith Brown

The SNP is urging voters to support them on the constituency and list ballots, saying the “only way only way to ensure a strong SNP government led by Nicola Sturgeon is to cast both votes for the SNP.”

The party announced last night that Line of Duty star Martin Compston was backing them, while Alba revealed that former Labour MP Les Huckfield was supporting them.

Keith Brown, the SNP’s depute leader, said: “This election is on a knife-edge, and the polls show that every single vote for the SNP will count as we work to secure a strong SNP government to kick-start our recovery from the pandemic, support our economy, and protect our NHS.

"The SNP has set out a bold, positive programme for Scotland’s future, which is in stark contrast to the relentless negativity and political game-playing coming from opposition parties."

The Herald:

Douglas Ross, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, today has asked voters to lend him their support on the list vote on Thursday in an attempt to take second place ahead of Labour.

He said an SNP majority was a “guarantee of another referendum” and the only way to stop this was by voting for his party.

He added: “If pro-UK voters come together and use their peach ballots for the Scottish Conservatives, we can get all of the focus back to where it belongs – rebuilding Scotland.

“By uniting, we can deliver a Scottish Parliament 100% focussed on protecting jobs, supporting our NHS and improving local schools and services.”