Tories in call for distinct Scottish brand

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Only a week after Labour leadership contender Ed Miliband admitted that Labour in Scotland should be granted a degree of autonomy by London, an influential Tory think tank has suggested the Scottish branch of the Conservative party needs to do the same.

Only a week after Labour leadership contender Ed Miliband admitted that Labour in Scotland should be granted a degree of autonomy by London, an influential Tory think tank has suggested the Scottish branch of the Conservative party needs to do the same.
 
The party’s showing in the general election as a whole was not mirrored in Scotland where they effectively flatlined.  This was seen as a disastrous result North of the border and led to calls for change.  Those calls have been answered by an admission that the Conservative brand is now so tainted as to be unpalatable for many Scots.
 
The devastating critique of the party’s showing in Scotland came after a private meeting of the Tory hierarchy north of the border.  Reports suggest that Holyrood front bench MSP, and deputy leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Murdo Fraser has admitted that efforts to woo voters had backfired and had done “more to mobilise the opposition than to increase the Conservative vote” adding that the Conservative brand was now seen as “toxic”.

Both the SNP and Labour ran with campaigns that centred on voter dislike for the Conservatives and both saw their vote increase as a result, 2.3% for the SNP and 2.5% for Labour.  The Tories spent £400,000 on their Scottish campaign and despite targetting specific constituencies with visits from David Cameron, they gained no seats.
 
It is believed that Conservativehome.com has identified three key voting areas where the UK party fell short; these are Scotland, public sector workers and ethnic minorities.
 
The group, which has strong links to party HQ said on its website “The party failure in Scotland was most evident,” and has suggested three new names for the Scottish branch of the party:
 
These are: the Scottish Unionist Party, the Scottish Freedom Party and the Scottish Reform Party.

The results of the general election in Scotland were:

Seats

  • Labour 41
  • Liberal Democrats 11
  • SNP 6
  • Conservatives 1

Vote share

  • Labour 42.0%
  • SNP 19.9%
  • Liberal Democrats 18.9%
  • Conservatives 16.7%

One of the changes that would see the Tories Scottish seat allocation improve at a stroke is electoral reform.  Proportional representation would have seen the following seat allocation:

  • Lab 25
  • SNP 12
  • LD 12
  • Con 10

However the Tory party remain opposed to such a move and the AV system proposed by the recently announced referendum on electoral reform does not provide proportional representation.

There is yet to be any serious analysis of the 3.9% drop in Scottish vote share experienced by the Lib Dems.