Working for you
The dust has now settled after what was a truly historic election both north and south of the Border.
Not since 1992, has a Conservative majority government been returned and I am delighted that the British people have entrusted David Cameron to complete our economic recovery.
Now we must take our existing achievements – 178,000 more jobs in Scotland, a deficit cut in half, 57,700 fewer people claiming out of work benefits – and build on them.
This means lower taxes – so that those who work hard are always rewarded; more jobs – so that everyone who wants to get on in life has the opportunity to do so and a smaller welfare bill – achieved by lifting people off benefits and back into the workplace.
I understand that the last few years have been tough, but I’m proud of the steps we have taken to put our economy right. Over the next five years, I’m confident that under David Cameron’s leadership this country, and our economy, will grow stronger still.
In Scotland, despite the advance of the SNP – and a good deal of tactical voting – the Scottish Conservatives saw our overall vote increase to 434,000.
This is encouraging and fitting reflection on the efforts of our many dedicated activists and excellent candidates.
One of them, Taylor Muir, stood locally in Rutherglen and Hamilton West. While the Liberal vote collapsed and Labour’s traditional supporters deserted the party in droves, our vote share held up– a pattern repeated right across the country.
For all of us watching the election coverage, it truly was an historic sight as some of Scotland’s most recognisable political figures – Charles Kennedy, Douglas Alexander, Margaret Curran, Jim Murphy – were defeated.
In 2010, no Scottish seat changed hands. Last Thursday 50 did and it would be churlish not to congratulate the SNP on their stunning success.
But despite their victories, this does not change the fact that last September the people of Scotland voted to remain part of the UK.
These votes, this voice won’t be forgotten and the Scottish Conservatives stand full-square behind our United Kingdom.
We do so not out of tactics, but because of conviction. We believe in the Union head, heart and soul and will continue to defend it.
So my commitment is this - we will devolve further powers to Holyrood, making the Scottish Parliament one of the most powerful devolved assemblies in the world but whilst doing so we will never shirk from standing up for the UK.
Now, more than ever, Scotland needs a strong pro-UK voice. A party which will always fight for Scotland’s place in our United Kingdom and will never put our enduring Union at risk.
It is clear after Thursday there is only one party which can fulfil that role - the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party.
Moving forward Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson MSP