Tories confident for Aberdeen South following council votes

But Ms Davidson said last week's election has shown the Tories are the "only party in Scotland" with the strength to fight back against the SNP.

FIRST MINISTER NICOLA STURGEON, has today (Monday 8 May) accused the Tories of harvesting Ukip votes to sacrifice Scotland's jobs and economic safety.

Aitken says she is exploring a deal with Glasgow's seven Green councillors, which would give the administration 46 votes, against Labour's 31 and the Conservatives' seven.

"Not to even be prepared discuss the possibility of such an agreement is short sighted in the least".

Ms Davidson said next month's poll would be a "two-horse race" between her party and the SNP.

The analysis also suggests that the party is ahead in Edinburgh South, which is now home to Labour's only MP in Scotland, Ian Murray.

Ms Davidson said: "We won the local government election in Gordon, beating the SNP into second place".

Writing in The Mail On Sunday, after her party won a record 276 councillors north of the border, more than double the number they secured five years ago, Ms Davidson suggested Scots are "fighting back against the SNP's independence obsession".

Over one in ten votes on Thursday were cast for independent candidates - in the Highlands and the Islands in particular, council elections are often still genuinely local rather than partisan battles.

Mr Salmond conceded that support for the Conservatives is on the rise in Scotland - but claimed "presumptuous announcements" by the Tories would only seek to boost support for the SNP.


The research indicates that potential SNP victims could include the former first minister Alex Salmond, the deputy leader Angus Robertson and the longstanding MP Pete Wishart.

In a statement yesterday a Scottish Labour spokesman said council groups would have to ensure that no power-sharing deals resulted in "increased austerity that will disproportionately impact on the poorest communities".

Meanwhile, leading pollster Professor John Curtice said claims of a Tory resurgence could be overblown - and that the contest to be Scotland's biggest pro-Union party was not yet won.

Last week's results followed a campaign by the Tories focused on opposition to a second referendum - a message they will carry through their General Election campaign in the weeks ahead.

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

"But let's take the Tory argument at face value".

She said: "If you compare north and south of the border, the Tories polled less in Scotland than Jeremy Corbyn did in England, and yet Jeremy Corbyn has been written off as a disaster".

"The Tories are the party of the "rape clause" and hard Brexit".

"We are determined to speak up for people in Scotland who are beginning to find their voice". Turnout will also be higher next month, although the 46.9 per cent turnout last week was higher than normal for council votes.

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