Tories: 'Sturgeon has overestimated support for independence in Scotland'

Scotland can look forward to  a "referendum-free period"  if the Tories win the election, the party's interim leader north of the border has said.
Pro-Scottish independence march in Edinburgh earlier this month. Picture: Lisa Ferguson/TSPLPro-Scottish independence march in Edinburgh earlier this month. Picture: Lisa Ferguson/TSPL
Pro-Scottish independence march in Edinburgh earlier this month. Picture: Lisa Ferguson/TSPL

Jackson Carlaw insisted there is "no vacuum" at the top of the party as he launched the Tory campaign in Perth today.

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And he said Nicola Sturgeon has overestimated the support for independence in Scotland.

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“We've now fought several referendums, I've respected the result of them all, win or lose," he said today.

"Nicola Sturgeon has never respected the result of any referendum other than the illegal one in Catalonia.

“The people of Scotland want to see election results respected. As we go forward from here, Scottish Conservatives are promising a referendum-free period ahead.

“Nicola Sturgeon is promising another two referendums. If we want to end that division, if we want to move on, we have to end the division and keep Scotland in the UK – no more referendums.”

Mr Carlaw said the result in 2014 was decisive and pointed this year's European elections when the SNP polled just 35-36% of the vote in Scotland.

"I don't think that Nicola Sturgeon has got the support that she believes she has to overturn the majority of people who said No to independence in 2014

“In this election we'll be saying no other party can be trusted now. Jeremy Corbyn's made clear he's not opposed potentially to doing a deal with the SNP at some time in the next parliament.

“The SNP obviously want to have independence. The only party that is absolutely resolute there will be no independence referendum, we will put division behind us, we will support Scotland's place in the United Kingdom is the Scottish Conservatives.”

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"If people want to stop that they support the Scottish Conservatives."

It is two months since Ruth davidson quit as party leader in Scotland, with no permanent replacement having been elected, but Mr Carlaw insists this won't damage the forthcoming campaign.

He added: "There is no vacuum at the top of the party. I’m directing the campaign, and the campaign will be to stop Nicola Sturgeon’s second independence referendum and to get Brexit sorted.

"That’s the message we are getting from people on the doorsteps. That’s the message all our candidates will be communicating on the doorsteps. And I’m very confident about the election campaign we are going to fight and the result we will obtain."