A MORAY COUNCILLOR’S hopes of taking a seat at the Scottish Parliament have been boosted by his being placed at the top of his party’s regional list.
Fochabers/Lhanbryde councillor Douglas Ross was chosen to top the Scottish Conservative list for the Highlands and Islands after a public vote of thousands of party members and supporters.
While topping the list is no guarantee of success, in each of the Scottish Parliamentary elections since 1999 the top two Scottish Conservative candidates on the party list have been elected.
That gives Councillor Ross an excellent chance of becoming an MSP either for the Moray constituency for which he is standing, or for the wider Highlands and Islands region.
Councillor Ross said: “Naturally I’m thrilled to come out top in this process which saw an impressive line-up of candidates from across the Highlands and Islands.
“With no incumbents standing the competition for a high list position was extremely strong and I’m very grateful that so many members and supporters put their faith in me.
“My first aim will be to win the Moray seat where the Conservatives are the only alternative to the SNP. The General Election result confirmed it’s a two-horse race between the two parties in Moray.
“I will be working hard from now until May to show people we are a credible alternative here in Moray to the SNP who still obsess over separation rather than focusing on vital public services.
“There are many areas of education, the health service and within the emergency services, to name just a few, which are failing on the SNPs watch.
“The second vote everyone gets in the election for the Regional List will also be crucial and Ruth Davidson is clear that she wants the biggest ever group of Scottish Conservative MSPs next year and will be focussing much of her campaigning on the regional poll.
“In 2016 we have a real opportunity to elect a record number of Scottish Conservative MSPs to provide a credible alternative to the SNP. I’m excited about the opportunity to be part of that team and to continue representing people in Moray as I currently do as a councillor.”
Ruth Davidson MSP, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, added: “We intend to make great progress in May, and the list vote is going to be vital for getting more Conservative MSPs into Holyrood.
“Now voters can see where their vote will be going if they back the Scottish Conservatives. We are the only real alternative to the SNP, and the only party serious about Scotland’s place at the heart of Britain.
“I’m delighted we have such a talented group of candidates on our various regional lists.”