Theresa May 'more in touch' than Nicola Sturgeon, says Ruth Davidson

Updated: 
General Election 2017

Theresa May is now more in touch with Scotland than First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, according to Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson.

Writing in The Mail On Sunday, after her party won a record 276 councillors north of the border, more than double the number they secured five years ago, Ms Davidson suggested Scots are "fighting back against the SNP's independence obsession".

She wrote: "The Prime Minister has made it clear that preserving our precious union is of vital importance to her government.

"In standing up to the SNP's drive for separation, she is now more in touch with Scotland than Nicola Sturgeon.

"The local government vote makes it clear.

"We value a union we helped build along with our family and friends in the rest of the UK. We aren't going to roll over and let the SNP tear it up.

"We will lead the fightback against the SNP right across Scotland and we're going to fight on behalf of everyone.

"Theresa May and I are determined to stand up for all those people who have had enough of the chaos and uncertainty of the past few years.

"We are determined to speak up for people in Scotland who are beginning to find their voice."

Ms Davidson also went on to criticise Labour, who slumped to become the third largest party in Scotland's councils, adding: "As for Labour, they were left to count the cost of decades of complacency, arrogance and a failure to respond to the concerns of ordinary families.

"It was a remarkable result and the lesson I take from it is clear.

"It's that in Scotland, and elsewhere in the UK right now, people of all walks of life, urban and rural, middle class or blue collar, are simply looking for some certainty."

If voting patterns are similar at the General Election on June 8, a surge in Conservative support could see Ms Davidson's party oust some SNP MPs from Westminster.

Earlier on Saturday Ms Sturgeon described suggestions as "ludicrous" any claims the surge in Tory support in Scotland could derail her bid to hold a second independence referendum.

She admitted the Conservatives in Scotland had "a good day by their standards" but highlighted the SNP had "won this election comfortably" with her party ending up with "more votes, more seats, more councils where we are the largest party, not just compared to every other party but compared to five years ago".

She added: "Let's take the Tory argument at face value.

"They chose to fight the election on the issue of an independence referendum, they talked about nothing else, they didn't have any policies for local government.

"So they put that issue centre stage and they lost the election.

"They came second in the election and the SNP came first.

"If you're going to put a single issue at the centre of your own campaign, then you lose the election, then you're left with a bit of egg on your face and I think the Tories have egg on their face on that question."

The SNP remains the largest party in local government with 431 councillors voted in, up slightly from its total of 425 in 2012.