KENNY MACASKILL says the SNP only have themselves to blame for the sheer loss of seats projected in this year’s general election.

Labour are predicted a landslide victory over the Conservatives, but are also expected to snatch seats off the SNP in Scotland.

In Alloa and Grangemouth, it is expected to be a tight contest between John Nicolson of the SNP and Brian Leishman of the Labour party.

Now, Mr MacAskill, who is running on behalf of the Alba party, has blasted the SNP for moving away from independence as their key goal, citing this as a reason why they will potentially lose so many seats.

Speaking to the Advertiser, Mr MacAskill said: ““The SNP have failed to push for independence and have indeed become side tracked as well as basically governing very poorly.

“They’re paying the price for their own ineptitude and they’re paying the price for failing to stand up for the cause that’s meant to be their raison d'etre.

“That’s why 2026 is when Alba has to come through and indeed, the cause of Scottish independence because indeed Labour’s saying change but the likelihood is that even though the change in government ministers is marked, the change in policy is very minimal.”

During his campaign, Mr MacAskill was heavily involved in campaigning for the future of Grangemouth refinery.

The refinery has been threatened with closure over the past year, with many worried about losing their jobs.

This has played a key role in the Alloa and Grangemouth campaigning, with every candidate keen to try to save the refinery as part of their manifesto.

Mr MacAskill explained that he found the refinery workers and nearby shop stewards demanded change and wanted a party who would stand up for them, which he was adamant Alba would do.

He continued: “I found that the shop stewards and Unite the Union excellent people to work with and as with all community, it is a lovely place.

“I will continue to work with the steward as I have and hopefully we will see a better and prosperous Scotland but the Grangemouth refinery must remain.”

“They’re fed up with the Tory government and they’re fed up of the ineptitude of the Scottish Government and as I say, this is not a judgement on the cause of independence but it is a judgement on the failure of the SNP.

“Independence continues but it has been damaged by the SNP’s ineptitude so now we press on as a political party until 2026.

“This is about laying the groundwork, the SNP abandoned independence, have paid the price and in 2026, when Labour fails to deliver and continues to impose Tory policies and austerity continues, that’s when Alba and independence becomes ever more necessary.”

With that, while Mr MacAskill does not expect to win the seat, he feels that this general election has been an eye opener for voters against the SNP.

He has vowed that he and his party will be at the forefront during the next Scottish Parliament election, set for 2026.

“The count has been interesting,” he added. “It’s a long overdue defeat for the Tories south of the border and it’s a complete rollback of the SNP north of the border.

“It’s not an indication of the support for independence, all the opinion polls shows that remains at approximately 50 per cent but the SNP have damaged the cause for independence.

“Independence voters have stayed at home and my own position is that we’ve won a campaign to try and save the refinery.

“I expect the Labour candidate who is likely to be returned to ensure that Grangemouth refinery stays.”