Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross thinks he could be first minster by next year - despite Nicola Sturgeon’s huge lead in polls
- Credit: PA
Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross reckons he could take on Nicola Sturgeon to become the first minister of Scotland - despite his pro-Brexit stance and her mammoth lead in the polls.
Speaking to the Scottish Sun, the MP for Moray said he favoured his chances of success, and rejected claims he'd be 'just another Jo Swinson'.
YouGov's most recent poll reveals that 53% of Scots support independence, with the SNP polling at 57% on the constituency vote and 47% on the list vote.
The Conseratives are in second, but only on 20% and 21%. Labour is solidly in third place, polling 14% on both votes.
But with Jackson Carlow resigning just two weeks ago from his post as leader of the Scottish Tories and Ross taking the reins, he feels confident about overturning the Sturgeon storm.
You may also want to watch:
He said he would spend the next nine months camapaigning against independence and focusing on education, health, justice and the economy, stressing that there'd 'be no point in getting involved in politics if you don't think you can achieve the ultimate office'.
Rebuffing comparisons between himself and Jo Swinson, who lost her East Dunbartonshire seat to the SNP's Amy Callaghan in December, Ross said it was Swinson's anti-Brexit stance which lost her support.
- 1 Brexiteer Prue Leith quits Tory Party after government votes down motion to protect UK food standards
- 2 Public slams Brexit Party tweet which shames Tory MPs who voted against free school meals
- 3 Piers Morgan must expose the government's Brexit betrayal
- 4 Group in protest against Tory MPs who voted down free school meals targets offices with empty plates
- 5 Tory minister blames journalists for NHS Test and Trace failure as he defends Dido Harding
- 6 Peers set to remove law-breaking sections of Boris Johnson's Brexit bill
- 7 Michel Barnier postpones Brussels return as Brexit trade talks in London continue
- 8 Brexit shambles: A stress of our own making
- 9 Priti Patel set to hand private firms £28 million in government contracts to deport asylum seekers from UK
- 10 Boris Johnson and Priti Patel urged to end 'attacks' on lawyers in letter by 800 legal professionals
He said: 'I don't think it was simply her ambitions to take her party forward, it was the fact that she was against Brexit, and was willing to disrespect a democratic result the country had delivered.'
But YouGov, which carried out fieldwork before Sturgeon's Scottish Highers climbdown, found that 72% of Scots think she is doing well as first minister. Only 22% think the opposite.
The poll even found that a majority of those who voted 'no' in the last independence referendum support the job she is doing.
Those figures are almost reversed for the UK's Boris Johnson - with 20% thinking he's doing well and 74% badly.
But according to Ross, even these surveys are 'telling a story'.
He said: 'Nicola Sturgeon's been clear herself that this is at a time when she's not speaking about independence. It's when she is dealing with a pandemic.
'What we've seen is a return to some of the more traditional areas to focus on - education, improving the health service, strengthening the economy after this pandemic.
'I believe we can make significant gains ahead of next May because we will have a positive vision for the country going forward.'
'By then, I'll have a strong manifesto and a strong team, and we want to get the highest office to be able to implement these policies.'
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.