Tories 'extremely foolish' over election boasts, says Alex Salmond

Michele Moreno
May 13, 2017

Inverurie and District's new councillors are Neil Baillie (SNP), Colin Clark (Scottish Conservative and Unionist), Marion Ewenson (Scottish Liberal Democrats) and Judy Whyte (Independent).

The Tories have analysed first preference votes given in the council wards of Lower Deeside, Torry and Ferryhill, Kincorth, Loirston and Cove, Hazlehead, Queens Cross and Countesswells and Airyhall, Broomhill and Garthdee.

Ruth Davidson will official launch the Scottish Conservatives campaign in Edinburgh while Kezia Dugdale will do likewise for Labour in Rutherglen.

Two years ago, the party won just 14 per cent of the vote north of the border, but the Scots' Tories have seen a resurgence under the leadership of Ms Davidson, whose personal profile as a working class, lesbian woman and former BBC journalist is seen as appealing to those who would not typically vote Conservative.

The SNP leader said Theresa May would win the election and the SNP would "stand up for Scotland" at Westminster while the Tories would follow the Prime Minister.

"It's to bring the SNP down to size; to show they can't take Scotland for granted; to show that we, the Scottish Conservatives, can lead Scotland's fightback against the SNP".

"Also in the north-east of Scotland it's not the greatest thing to boast you're going to win beforehand, the folk here tend to bring them back down to earth with a bump".

Yet the task facing the SNP next month is to defend its remarkable success in winning 56 out of Scotland's 59 seats at the United Kingdom election in 2015, a success based not on winning a little less than a third of the vote, but on securing 50%.

But the Tories also gained 167 seats and returned a record number of councillors.

It would be nice to believe that Thursday's election was a series of local referendums on local services rendered (or not), but it would be a fantasy: this was a national election fought on national issues, and those issues revolved around the prospect of another independence referendum.

"We've won this election today, or certainly we look as if we're on course to winning the election".

Despite having the largest number of councillors, this doesn't guarantee the Tory party a controlling interest - unless Labour and the SNP can not reach an agreement on a coalition deal.

But even if everyone who voted independent would have voted SNP in a general election (a highly improbable supposition), that clearly can not account for all of the difference between the two performances.

Pollsters got the result of the 2015 election badly wrong, concluding that they had underestimated support for the Conservatives and had over-represented Labour supporters in their surveys. Labour shed 112 councillors to trail in third on 262, losing control of three councils. Ukip lost 145 council seats - all but one.

"We will stand up for everyone who doesn't want a second referendum on independence".

Other reports by Insurance News

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