Scottish Tories appeal to New Labour voters

Ruth Davidson has pledged the Scottish Tories will represent the views of 'moderate' New Labour supporters left disgruntled by the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader.

Ruth Davidson . Picture: Getty

Ms Davidson said that New Labour had been an “awesome machine”, but added that the “centrist, inclusive, election-winning juggernaut” that was led by Tony Blair is now gone.

After Mr Corbyn, a veteran left-winger, was confirmed as Labour leader after defeating challenger Owen Smith, the Scottish Conservative leader said “moderate, centre-ground voters” would be left “feeling utterly disenfranchised”.

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Writing in the Sunday Times, the Scottish Conservative leader said: “I am therefore determined to build a moderate Scottish Conservative party that appeals to the same people who supported Brown and Blair: one which knows that economic growth only has value if it works in tandem with social progress.

Picture: TSPL

“Labour may be increasingly divorced from its traditional support, but under my leadership the Scottish Conservatives will be there to speak up for those decent, moderate voters.

“And at the heart of our ambition to speak for all Scotland will be the promotion of a socially just society.”

Ms Davidson said that Mr Corbyn’s re-election “marks the demise of the Labour Party as a credible UK political force”, citing it as proof that the “unelectable hard left has now assumed a lock grip on Britain’s main party of opposition”.

Picture: TSPL

When Labour came to power under Mr Blair in 1997, the Conservatives were wiped out in Scotland, with the party failing to return a single MP from north of the border

Ms Davidson said that while “1997 will stick in the mind for an entire generation” for many of those who had voted Labour then “that election night now feels a long, long time ago”.

Meanwhile, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has also said his party could give a voice to Labour moderates opposed to Mr Corbyn.

He said: ‘’The Labour Party has decided to abandon moderate, progressive voters in the UK. These voters will find a welcome home in the Liberal Democrats.

‘’Anyone who believes in an open, tolerant and united country will have no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn’s left-wing lurch. The Liberal Democrats stand ready to give them a voice.’’