‘Tories seized SNP seats, Labour next’
Ruth Davidson told the Conservative Party faithful yesterday that the Tories will burst Jeremy Corbyn’s bubble, just as they had burst the SNP’s in May’s election.
In a speech at the party conference in Manchester, the Scottish leader took delight in winning 12 more Westminster seats – half in the north-east – after the Tories had been obliterated from the political map for 20 years.
Ms Davidson acknowledged it had been a long slog, but said “grafting hard” had allowed the party to rebuild.
She said: “We started with one MP. We ended with one MP. We were still outnumbered by those sodding pandas.
“But this time, it was different. People were looking for a serious alternative to a nationalism that had let down our schools and was more concerned with division than delivery.
“And we went from one MP to 13. The pandas are going to have to go some to catch up now.”
Ms Davidson argued she had watched the response to Mr Corbyn’s speech “with incredulity” and dismissed reports he was now “a shoo-in”.
She added: “Folks, he hasnae even won a raffle. I have watched as Nicola Sturgeon sold out rock venues. I’ve read the commentary that said her momentum was irresistible, that everything would be swept before her.
“Just as the SNP came crashing down to earth – as half a million Scots chose to take their vote away – so too can the Corbyn bubble burst.”
New West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie was one of the SNP usurpers across the region, elected at 29 years old, as part of a cohort of younger politicians. Mr Bowie maintained the party in England and Wales can learn from the Scottish party’s strategy to capture younger voters.
He said: “Ruth has managed to cut across barriers they are struggling with in the rest of the UK.
“Obviously, we still don’t get as many voters under 50 as we would like, but we are doing better.
“It comes down to having a leader that’s under 40, who is au fait with social media and just gets it, really.
“She is not your typical Tory and she is surrounded by a young team of MPs.”
“She is not your typical Tory and surrounded by a young team of MPs”
APPLAUSE: Prime Minister Theresa May and husband Philip at the annual Conservative Party conference yesterday