Election results: Alex Salmond admits he may not lead Alba much longer after disappointment at polls

Alex Salmond has admitted he may not lead Alba much longer after the new independence party failed to make a breakthrough in the Scottish elections.

He told Sky News he is an “interim leader” and the party will make decisions on its future at a conference next month.

The former first minister claimed Alba’s future is “a very good one indeed”, pointing out that it has “5,000 members and we’ll have the best part of 50,000 votes across Scotland”.

“We’ve got two members of parliament and 20 councillors,” he added.

Asked by Sky’s Adam Boulton if he is “finished as a political force”, Mr Salmond ducked the question and said he was more concerned about the party than his own future.

Who leads Alba will “depend on” the June conference, he said.

Mr Salmond added: “I’m the interim leader through this election. I was invited to do that and I accepted that charge.”

He is “certain” he will be “a member of Alba going forward”.

Mr Salmond admitted the party’s performance with voters had not been good enough to achieve any real influence.

It had more than 10% of votes in a couple of ballot boxes in Aberdeenshire, he said, but that was rare.

“In some of the big ballot boxes, I think we ended up over 3% in Aberdeenshire East, and the same in Banff and Buchan – a bit more actually.”

Those were the party’s “best results in Scotland”, he conceded, adding: “That doesn’t get you a seat. You need 4.5%, maybe 5%, to get a seat.”

But he said it was a “creditable performance for a party which has just celebrated its sixth birthday – in other words, we are six weeks old”.

“I don’t think we’re going to make it this time round,” he added.

His former party, the SNP, won 64 seats – one short of a majority.

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