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by Louise Wilson
02 March 2024
Douglas Ross: Let’s send Humza Yousaf packing

Douglas Ross will address the Scottish Tory conference on Saturday | Alamy

Douglas Ross: Let’s send Humza Yousaf packing

Douglas Ross will urge voters to “send Humza Yousaf packing” by voting for the Scottish Conservatives at the 2024 general election in his conference speech.

Arguing that in many seats in Scotland the election is a “straight fight” between his party and the SNP, he will say the Tories could “beat the Nationalists up and down Scotland”.

The Scottish Tory leader is in Aberdeen as his party gathers for potentially the final time before the election.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak addressed delegates on Friday.

Due to deliver his keynote speech to close conference on Saturday afternoon, Ross will say: “We already pushed Nicola Sturgeon out. Now let’s use this general election to shove Humza Yousaf out the door.

“If the pro-UK majority unites and votes together in the key seats, where it’s a straight fight between the Scottish Conservatives and the SNP, we can beat the Nationalists up and down Scotland.

“We can make sure it’s not only a bad night for the SNP, but a terrible night for Humza Yousaf.”

The party currently holds seven seats in Scotland – six it won at the 2019 election, plus Lisa Cameron’s constituency of East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow. Cameron defected to the Tories in October.

Ross’s own seat of Moray is set to disappear under boundary changes. That seat will instead by split into the new seats of Aberdeenshire North and Moray East (which is notionally a Conservative seat using 2019 results) and Moray West, Nairn and Strathspey (notionally an SNP seat).

Recent polling has put the party between 15 and 18 per cent of the national vote, considerably less than the 25 per cent share it won at the last election.

This mirrors UK-wide polling which puts the Conservatives well behind Labour.

The SNP has also seen a slump, polling between 35 and 37 per cent in recent months. In 2019 it won 45 per cent of the vote, winning 48 seats. In 2017 it secured 37 per cent of the vote and dropped from 56 to 35 seats.

Scottish Labour is on course to win back some of its seats but polling between it and the SNP remains narrow.

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Read the most recent article written by Louise Wilson - Patrick Harvie: Douglas Ross ‘playing shallow politics’ over Michael Matheson row.

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