Alex Salmond has failed in his bid to return to the Scottish Parliament after losing out on the North East regional list.

The former first minister will not return to the Scottish Parliament after he failed in his bid to pick up a seat on the North East regional list.

Salmond had hoped to boost the Scottish independence cause by returning to frontline politics with his Alba Party.

But his party failed to pick up a seat in the region after winning just 8,269 votes.

The Scottish Conservatives won four seats, Scottish Labour two and the Scottish Greens one in the North East. 

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Despite the result, Alex Salmond insisted that the party is here to stay.

In a statement, he said: "ALBA is here to stay. In only six weeks ALBA has established itself as a political force with which to be reckoned. With over 5,000 members and more than 40,000 votes ALBA is now on the political scene and we intend to stay there. 

"With two MPs at Westminster and councillors, the length and breadth of the country, we will continue to make our voice heard loud and clear in the coming months."

"I am proud of our 32 candidates and the campaign that we fought putting Independence front and centre and injecting urgency into the need to deliver Independence.  

"I congratulate Nicola on her victory but, of course, with victory comes responsibility. The incoming SNP Government must now deliver on their promise to take Scotland towards Independence. And there is no excuse for them not to do so."

"Over 50% of voters on the Regional List voted for Independence. 

He added: "A key argument advanced by ALBA in this Election has been totally and comprehensively vindicated. ALBA warned that SNP votes would be wasted on the list and elect zero SNP MSPs in almost every region and that is exactly what has happened.

"In contrast in the constituencies Unionist parties have been successful in persuading voters to vote tactically to stop the SNP in seats the SNP should have won such as Dumbarton and Eastwood.

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"An Independence Supermajority would have strengthened Scotland against Westminster making it much more difficult for Boris Johnson to reject a huge Independence majority of a whole parliament representing a whole nation. 

"ALBA looks to the future with optimism. We have established our distinctive place in Scottish politics offering action and urgency on Independence, clear and well thought out positions on the 'difficult' questions on Europe, currency and debt and shared assets reflecting the changed realities of 2021 compared to 2014 and proposing radical solutions to tackle poverty, to bring about economic and social reconstruction after Covid and in defence of women’s rights."

He added: "After consultation with candidates this afternoon we will table a motion to the inaugural ALBA Conference in June to contest the local elections in Scotland next year. That will be a contest decided not by television programmes from which ALBA are largely excluded, but in the communities around Scotland and ALBA will fight on level terms.

"In that contest ALBA will continue to rise”

Earlier on Saturday, Mr Salmond has said the First Minister “lost her nerve” on Scottish independence in 2017.

The former SNP leader was speaking on a podcast with independence supporters after he admitted his party was unlikely to get any seats in the Holyrood elections.

As well as Ms Sturgeon, Mr Salmond took aim at the leadership of the SNP, who he described as “graceless”.

He also singled out MP John Nicolson, describing him as a “poser”.

The Alba Party leader also claimed his party had helped the SNP in constituencies such as Banff and Buchan Coast.

“Nicola will prevaricate, Nicola lost her nerve on independence back in 2017 and has never recovered it,” Mr Salmond said.

“It’s as simple as that.”

Alba also has “electoral credibility”, Mr Salmond said, due to the party having two MPs and 20 councillors.

Elected members in Alba were voted for while they were members of other parties, apart from Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP Neale Hanvey, who was suspended by the SNP at the time of his election in 2019.

“That will make Alba a force to be reckoned with,” he said.