Why the Scottish Conservatives leader is telling people not to vote Tory

Why the Scottish Conservatives leader is telling people not to vote Tory
Scottish Conservatives leader suggests voters back Labour over Tories to oust SNP
Sky News

It’s not been the best week for the Tories – what with one of their MPs having the whip suspended as a result of an undercover sting by The Times, and the Home Office having to delete an awkward tweet about Suella Braverman – so the last thing they need is Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross telling people to vote Labour.


In eyebrow-raising remarks made to The Telegraph, the Tory MSP – who is also an MP in Westminster – said Scottish voters should “do what is best for the country” and back the “strongest possible candidate to beat the SNP” at the next general election – even if that candidate represents their biggest UK political rivals, Labour.

He told the outlet: “I will always encourage Scottish Conservative voters to vote Scottish Conservative, but I think generally the public can see, and they want the parties to accept, that where there is the strongest candidate to beat the SNP, you get behind that candidate.

“If parties maybe look a bit beyond their own narrow party agenda to what's best for the country … what would be best is if we see this grip that the SNP has on Scotland at the moment loosened, and we see a change coming.”

As is to be expected when you’re effectively arguing for your party to suffer losses at the ballot box, this idea has gone down like a cup of cold sick with the Conservative Party down in London.

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One of their spokespeople told The Telegraph: “This is emphatically not the view of the Conservative Party. We want people to vote for Conservative candidates wherever they are standing as that’s the best way to keep Labour and the SNP out.”

Oh dear.

He didn’t back down or withdraw his comments in an interview on Sky News, either, saying people want “party leaders urging people to get behind their party in seats where they are the strongest party”, but also stressing that he will “always urge Scottish Conservative voters to vote Scottish Conservative”.

Does that make sense?

Don’t worry, many Twitter users can’t believe it either:

Not exactly putting the ‘tact’ in tactical voting, are we, Douglas?

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