Former first minister Alex Salmond has hinted at another run at electoral politics at his Alba party’s first conference.
Salmond’s last elected office was at Westminster, where he was the MP for Gordon between 2015 and 2017, before losing his seat.
The former SNP leader unsuccessfully stood earlier this year on the north east regional list, as Alba failed to return a single MSP in the Holyrood elections.
But, speaking to the PA news agency during the first day of the conference in Greenock, Mr Salmond said: “I wouldn’t be surprised if Alex Salmond has another go at electoral politics in the future.
“But right now I’m just celebrating the fact that I am now officially the leader of Alba and I’ve got a real political party to lead, with fantastic delegates.”
The next chance the former first minister would have to run is the council elections next year.
When asked if this would see his return, he said: “I don’t know, I’ll have to have a think about that, but you’ll certainly see Alba fielding a range of great candidates in the local elections.”
Salmond went on to say he was confident of a better showing next year than in May’s election.
“We were formed four weeks before the election, we didn’t even have the symbol on the ballot paper because time was so tight with the Electoral Commission,” he said.
“Now we’ve got the symbol on the ballot paper, so now that people will be able to find us, yeah, I think we’ll do really well.”
He added: “If Alba make a breakthrough in these council elections, then all of a sudden you’ll see independence from the SNP-Green coalition go from the bottom of the agenda, to the top of the agenda.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced last week that work would restart on creating a “prospectus” for an independent Scotland, while the co-operation agreement struck with the Scottish Greens pledged to hold another referendum on leaving the UK by the end of 2023.
Salmond continued: “Alba’s role long term is to be a leading part of the independence movement, but in the short term – next year’s council elections – we can galvanise the independence campaign.
“We can be the grit in the independence oyster.”