FORMER first minister Alex Salmond has announced he is to stand for a seat at Westminster at next May’s General Election.
The ex-SNP leader unveiled his candidacy for his party’s nomination in the Gordon constituency at a meeting in Ellon.
It is currently held by Sir Malcolm Bruce, the long-serving Liberal Democrat MP who will retire in May 2015.
Mr Salmond said he does not expect any party to win an overall majority at the election and therefore Scotland could emerge in a “commanding position”.
But he ruled out any potential coalition with the Conservatives.
He added that there was the “prospect of real power for Scotland” if the SNP wins a significant number of seats at Westminster although he said he had no ambition to lead the SNP group at Westminster.
“What has struck me more than anything else, is that in the weeks since the referendum the people of Scotland have refused to give up on the hope,” he said.
“For those who voted Yes the referendum offered the possibility of real change. For many who voted No they insist on the vow being properly redeemed.
“Therefore it is incumbent on all of us to step up to the plate - to match the spirit being shown by the people. Therefore I can tell the constituency today that I am a candidate for the SNP nomination for Gordon.”
Mr Salmond stood down as SNP leader and First Minister after the Yes campaign was defeated in September’s independence referendum.
He is currently the MSP for the Aberdeenshire East constituency, which covers some of the same areas as the Gordon seat. If elected in May, he will also continue to serve at Holyrood until 2016 and would donate one of his salaries to a charity supporting local youth causes.