STV report talks up Tory chances in seats the party has written off

The Scottish Conservatives meet in Edinburgh today for their Conference. The other day, the STV political correspondent filmed with them and talked up their chances in seats like Argyll and Bute and West Aberdeenshire. He can’t have realised that those seats are among five Lib Dem seats in Scotland that appear on the list of seats that the Tories are not targeting in Scotland as Mark Pack reported last week.

The Tories have also written off their chances in Edinburgh West, Ross, Skye and Lochaber and North East Fife.

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott described the Tory leak as a “letter of surrender”:

In a leaked memo of seats which Conservatives had chosen not to target which recently came to light, the Conservative retreat from Scotland was remarkable.

Their revealing letter of surrender shows that even the Scottish Conservatives know they are not at the races in this election.

Long held target seats of Gordon, Edinburgh West, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, North East Fife and more have been ditched by the Conservative party, who have all but shut up shop and retreated to defend their single seat of Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale.

Only the Conservatives could retreat to one seat.

The bookmakers have the Conservatives at odds of 100-1 and 50-1 in seats they used to hold in Ayrshire (North and Arran) and Gordon. That is how far they have fallen.

Even their solo MP has the SNP breathing down his neck.

Only Liberal Democrat MPs can stop the SNP gaining all seats in Scotland in their bid to secure independence by the back door.

This is serious because the SNP in the Scottish Government put local services at risk when they took their eye off the ball on day-to-day issues in order to concentrate on their campaign for independence.

Cancer treatment targets were missed, college places closed and the NHS went into crisis.

The Conservatives own handiwork shows that they are only running an ornamental election. But this General Election is too important to risk wasting your vote on a party who has admitted it’s not got a chance of winning.

The Liberal Democrats have both the commitment to devolution and the influence at Westminster to ensure Scotland gets the powers we have been promised. Only the Liberal Democrats can be trusted with both a strong economy and a fair society, ensuring decent public services and opportunity for all.

South of the border, there are a few other seats which have Liberal Democrat MPs which they know they have no chance of winning, among them the North Norfolk seat of Norman Lamb.

The most significant conclusion is how much they are in retreat across Scotland in areas where they had reasonable strength quite recently.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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5 Comments

  • For most Scottish voters this will simply confirm that the Tories feel they don’t need to fight seats where there are Lib Dems. Vote Lib Dem get Tory.

  • Jane Ann Liston 20th Feb '15 - 12:48pm

    I’m surprised that the Tories used to hold North Ayrshire & Arran. I thought South Ayrshire was their habitat, with Phil Gallie in the seat back around 1990?

  • robert Leslie 20th Feb '15 - 4:00pm

    The constituanvcy of North Ayfshire and Arran has had an interesting history
    The constituency of North Ayrshire was created in 1868 and was much larger than the present constituency, as it also included the towns of Irvine and Kilmarnock. It returned various Liberal, Liberal Unionist and Conservative MP’s, the most well known of whom being Sir Aylmer Hunter-Weston, a general in the First World War who served as MP from 1916-1935 first for North Ayrshire and then for Bute and Northern Ayrshire which was created in 1918. Another well-known MP was Sir Fitzroy Maclean, a major-general in the Second World War who was rumoured to be one of Ian Fleming’s inspirations for James Bond. In 1983, the Cunninghame North constituency was created. From 1911 to 1987, the constituencies containing North Ayrshire returned either Conservative Party or Unionist Party MP’s until the 1987 General Election when the constituency was lost to the Labour Party.

  • North Ayrshire includes Largs, which is traditionally middle-class and Tory. Then there is the industrial belt that takes in Saltcoats, Ardrossan and Kilbirnie, which has a long history of Tory voting due to the very large numbers of Ulster Protestants who moved there in the 19th century (my great-grandfather included). Only in the last 30 years have the “Orange Tories” died out.

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