THE BATTLE LINES are already being drawn on the Scottish Government election in Moray next year with the Tory’s confirming their candidate.
Local councillor Douglas Ross has been selected to fight the seat for the Scottish Conservatives.
His selection will come as little surprise as it follows the Tory’s best Moray election result in 20 years, Ross having increased the Conservative vote by 5000 when he took on the SNP’s Angus Robertson in the UK General Election this year.
Peter Millar, the president of the Moray Conservative and Unionist Association, said that Mr Ross had gained the “unanimous support” of all local party members attending the selection meeting this week.
Mr Millar said: “Douglas achieved one of the best Conservative results in May when he increased the Conservative vote from 10,000 votes to 15,000 votes. He gained support from across the political spectrum as the best-placed pro-UK candidate and restricted the SNP to their lowest swing in Scotland.
“It was a tremendous personal performance grounded in his track record as a local campaigner and servant of the community.”
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson MSP welcomed the nomination: “Douglas has proven himself to be an outstanding advocate for the Scottish Conservatives as well as being a candidate rooted in the community which he seeks to serve.
“He is one of a new and upcoming generation of Scottish Conservatives who are making their mark on the party and will, I’m sure, make a significant contribution to public life in Scotland in the future.”
Saying that he was delighted to have the confidence of the local party members placed on him, Councillor Ross added: “Moray Conservatives are definitely on the up – we are gaining more new members locally and the feeling is very positive.
“I’m delighted to have retained their confidence for the contest that lies ahead. We know it will be a tough fight against the Nationalists who seem to think they own Moray, but I really do think that we have established a solid foundation on which to build.”
Councillor Ross will face sitting MSP Richard Lochhead, whose parliamentary assistant in Moray, Laura Mitchell, is also seeking the SNP’s nomination as a list member for the Highlands and Islands constituency.