Tory Blame Game Begins As Party Slumps Behind Labour In Scotland

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross  (Photo: Jane Barlow via PA Wire/PA Images)
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross (Photo: Jane Barlow via PA Wire/PA Images)

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross (Photo: Jane Barlow via PA Wire/PA Images)

A Tory blame game has erupted in Scotland after the party suffered a disastrous night in the local elections.

The Conservatives lost councillors across the country as they dropped to third place behind Labour and the SNP.

Allies of Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross blamed the partygate scandal at Westminster and Boris Johnson’s unpopularity north of the border for the dramatic downturn in the party’s fortunes.

But others said Ross’s decision to withdraw his call for the prime minister’s resignation had damaged the Tories’ electoral prospects.

After the results in all 32 Scottish councils were in, the Conservatives saw their share of the vote slump to 19.6 per cent, nearly 6 points down on 2017, while they also lost 62 seats, leaving them with 215.

The SNP have consolidated their place as Scotland’s pre-eminent political party with 34.1 per cent and 454 seats, with Labour on 21.7 per cent and 281 seats.

It was also a good night for the Lib Dems, who saw their number of seats increase by 20 to 87, while the Greens are up 15 seats to 34.

Adam Tomkins, a former Scottish Conservative MSP, rejected suggestions from some within the party that the PM was to blame for the Tories’ poor performance.

He tweeted: “I’m sorry but this is nonsense. Whatever today’s results show Douglas Ross owns this, not Boris. It was Douglas who u-turned, Douglas who flipped, and Douglas who backed the PM. He and his team need to own the consequences, not pass the buck.”

And Liz Smith, the Tories’ finance spokesperson at Holyrood, said: “Douglas will have to explain why he is defending him as prime minister but blaming him for the result. Douglas will have to explain the two sides of that coin.”

But a supporter of Ross pointed out that the Tories were also suffering a bad night in England.

They told HuffPost UK: “I think it’s unhelpful for people within the Scottish party to be pointing accusing fingers at Douglas when we’ve been losing councils like Wandsworth and Westminster. There may just be a wider narrative here.”

Ian Blackford, the SNP’s leader at Westminster, said voters in Scotland had “sent a message” to Boris Johnson.

He said: “The important story from Scotland is the fact that the Tories are being rejected.

“Their vote is down and I think what really is important today is that the voters have sent a message to Boris Johnson.

“I think there’s two things that count; one is of course the cost-of-living crisis – more needs to be done, and the other issue is partygate.

“I think people in Scotland have made it very clear that they want no more of this from Boris Johnson and his Conservatives.”

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

Related...

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting