THE general secretary of Alex Salmond’s Alba party has failed to get re-elected.

Chris McEleny, the former SNP group leader on Inverclyde Council, lost his seat after being deserted by local voters.

He had been seen as the best prospect for the pro-independence Alba party in the election.

However he picked up just 126 of the 4,774 first preference votes in the Inverclyde West ward, the second lowest of the seven candidates standing.

A former contender to be deputy leader of the SNP, he was beaten by Labour’s Martin McCluskey, the SNP’s Sandra Reynolds and Independent Lynne Quinn in the three-member ward.

Mr McEleny’s father Jim, another SNP defector to Alba, also failed to get re-elected under his new banner in Inverclyde Central.

Mr McEleny senior polled just 108 of the 2,828 first preference votes, the lowest of the six candidates standing in the ward.

Last month, Mr Salmond, who did not stand himself in the election because he is pursuing TV work in London, said his party was on the cusp of an “historic electoral breakthrough”.

“The election of the first councillors under the Alba banner will make a difference to the future of Scotland,” he said. 

However it proven not to be, leaving the former First Minister humiliated.

Another prominent Alba hopeful, councillor Brian Topping in Aberdeenshire, also failed to get re-elected.

At the 2021 Holyroood election, Alba failed to get any MSPs via the regional list system, even though it needed just 5 or 6 per cent of the vote to do so, polling jusat 1.7% nationwide

The electoral arithmetic for the council elections was even harder for it overcome, with the party needing 20% plus one to get a councillor elected in a four-member ward, and 25% plus one in a three-member ward.

In a statement, Mr Mceleny said: "I have been an elected representative of the people for the majority of my adult life, such was the young age I was when first elected.

“I am very proud of the achievements I’ve been able to help my community achieve during this time.

“I am very proud of our Alba candidates in Inverclyde, particularly my father.

"We may not have made the breakthrough that we had hoped for but I am confident that for as long as Scotland is handcuffed to the calamities of Westminster, and Alba are the only party setting out a plan and positive vision for the necessity for Scotland’s independence as an immediate priority, then there will be a much needed space for Alba Party in the political sphere of Scottish politics.

“The reason I got into Scottish politics was to restore my country’s independence, and that is a job that is not yet complete. So tremble, false Whigs, in the midst o' yer glee - you've not seen the last of my bonnet - and me!”