Former First Minister Alex Salmond has launched an attack on the Scottish Conservatives, claiming that Ruth Davidson’s party was too confident with its predictions of success at the general election on June 8.
Mr Salmond spoke to the Scotsman from his constituency of Gordon, where the Tories are insisting they are the main challengers and can claim a major scalp at the ballot box night next week.
He said: “The Tories were on the up, but they’ve come off the rails dramatically in the last week – I’m just waiting on for the Scottish press corps to catch up on the story of the Tory bubble bursting.
“At a UK election, the campaign is a shambles – they haven’t been able to defend their manifesto, at hustings I’ve attended when we mention things like the ‘rape clause’ or the ‘dementia tax’ we get the most extravagant, ridiculous, explanations.
He added: “The Tory candidate in Gordon, for instance, says that he backs the rape clause.”
Ruth Davidson’s party are expected to significantly increase their vote share in Scotland, and make gains in terms of seats, though the range of constituencies they might win varies dramatically.
Previously, the party released research which claimed that they could snatch as many as 15 seats from the SNP.
The Conservatives are targeting a number of big names, including Mr Salmond and Depute Leader Angus Robertson.
Mr Salmond says this is overconfidence, adding: “It’s not good politics. A long, long time ago I made this mistake, back in 1992, I allowed expectations to run away, and she’s done that at this election.
“It’s just arrogance, for Ruth Davidson to continue the line of ‘we’re going to take this seat, and we’re going to take that seat’.
“Once it doesn’t happen, it’s very bad news for Ruth Davidson’s credibility.”
The ex-SNP leader also said that Theresa May’s campaign had shown up her weaknesses which was hurting the Tories.
He said: “The Conservative campaign has been undermined by the farce of their manifesto, by the inability of the Prime Minister to turn up to debates, and by her manifest inadequacy as a political leader.”
The Scottish Conservatives hit out at Mr Salmond’s comments.
A spokesman for Ruth Davidson’s party said: “For Alex Salmond to accuse anyone of arrogance is quite astonishing.
“Ruth has been clear that we are working for every seat in Scotland, and will continue to do so until June 8.
“The former First Minister is obviously rattled if he’s resorting to this approach.”