Kenny MacAskill, MP is standing for the Alba Party on the Lothian List, in the Holyrood Election on 6th May.
Julia Laurie, co-convenor of Edinburgh & Lothians Pensioners4Indy group, writes:
With the forthcoming Scottish Elections, and the Alba Party having burst onto the scene at the last moment, I decided to try to engage a representative from the party to help our members make an informed decision on who to vote for on the list.
Our guest speaker
Kenny MacAskill is well known to most of us having been involved in Scottish politics for many years, but I was not sure how our members would feel as he was voted in as an SNP MP, and is now standing for Alba as an MSP, however, I need not have worried, and we had a good turnout. As an MSP for Lothian Region he was best known for his role as Cabinet Secretary for Justice from 25/5/11 – 25/11/14. Also an author, he has been involved writing seven books from Building a Nation in 2004 to Radical Scotland 2020.
Kenny talked about all aspects of Alba, why he joined, starting a new party so close to an election, their policies, people, ambitions, and plans for the future. And we had many varied questions:
- what legal action do you think we can take to gain Independence with reference to Ciaran Martin’s lecture?
- can we factor food poverty into our arguments in support of independence?
- what’s Alba Party view on currency?
- can primacy for constitutional matters be transferred to the Scottish Parliament by the Scottish people in an election?
- what is Alba’s position on a written Constitution?
- if he is elected as MSP will he resign as MP?
- What do you think about the First Minister saying she will not work with Alba?
- how high on the Alba Party agenda is land tax, & green energy?
- how can we best deal with the Border after independence?
You can listen to the talk here:
I hope you enjoyed hearing what Kenny MacAskill had to say. The only question he passed on was economics, suggesting we asked Dr Jim Walker, or George Kerevan to speak to us. I am delighted to say that George will be joining us for a second meeting on Alba on the 27th of April, just 7 days hence.
Having two meetings on the Alba Party, will give us a good idea of what their ambitions are. Following the election on the 6th of May, our next meeting will be on Tuesday the 18th May, to discuss the results, and future plans for our group.
The latest Survation Scottish Poll from 30 March gives us a baseline for how the parties are doing in the Holyrood campaign.
- the SNP ahead in both constituency and list votes, on 49% and 37% respectively.
- the Tories sit on 21% and 18% neck and neck with Labour 20% and 19%.
- the Greens on 11% in the list which puts them ahead of the Liberal Democrats who are on 9% and 8%.
- the Alba Party is reported as 3% which is well short of the 5% that is needed to have a chance of winning List seats.
However it’s early days and polling figures could change very quickly.
Survation also report on the respective popularity of party leaders:
The polling for Alex Salmond isn’t lookng very helpful for the Alba Party. His ratings are worse than Boris Johnson.
Effects of Holyrood Inquiries
The Survation poll included a question asking if Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond had gone up / down in people’s estimation after recent appearances during the Holyrood Committee Inquiry and the independent Ministerial Conduct Inquiry. Again, not good news for Mr Salmond.
A Help or a Hindrance?
And finally, when asked if Alex Salmond helps or hinders the cause of Scottish Independence, he is seen as hindering it. Altogether an extraordinary – and sobering – result for the former FM who brought us an SNP majority administration and then negotiated the Edinburgh Agreement for the 2014 referendum.