Tories will make gains in Scotland - Grant Shapps

THE Tories are confident of winning more seats in Scotland, starting with Michael Moore’s Lib Dem constituency in the Borders, Conservative chairman Grant Shapps told The Scotsman.

Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps expressed confidence in the party's ability to win Scottish seats. Picture: Getty

But the man at the head of the Tory election campaign has indicated a new age in politics by making it clear that, for the first time, the Scottish Conservatives are in complete control of its own election campaign, with a hands-off approach from Conservative Central Office in London.

On his party’s prospects north of the Border, Mr Shapps said he was confident of gains for the first time in a generation on a referendum bounce.

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Asked if he believes the Tories can win extra seats in Scotland he said: “Yes I do. I absolutely do.

“You saw in the referendum, despite what has been written since, we won a good majority for the Union but there are plenty of Scots that see their future in the Union now look at their options on which way to vote.

“There is one clear centre right party. We are the only alternative, the Lib Dems are nowhere, Ukip don’t really feature and you’ve got two left of centres in the SNP and Labour slugging it out.”

He also claimed that the SNP’s “lurch to the left” under Nicola Sturgeon has helped.

He said: “It is unhelpful to Scotland but it is helpful to show the distinction. We are the only centre right party.

“Ruth Davidson’s leadership has been superb. She has really marked herself out with a really distinctive message, perhaps making the Conservatives relative in Scotland again for the first time in a generation or two.

“So absolutely the Conservatives are back and yes we are not going to just hold on to our seat we have got other seats within our grasp.”

Asked to identify which seats they will gain, he said: “Well obviously in the Borders” where John Lamont is running against Michael Moore in Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk.