‘Tories seized SNP seats, Labour next’

The Press and Journal (Inverness) - - NEWS - JEN­NIFER MCKIERNAN

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

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