The Tory plans to keep quiet in Scotland

The Conservative Party has outlined its plans on how to increase the number of seats it holds in Scotland by pledging to keep its head down and keep quiet.

Cameron Scotland

The Conservative Party has outlined its plans on how to increase the number of seats it holds in Scotland by pledging to keep its head down and keep quiet.

At the last election, despite spending just over £1 million targeting 11 seats north of the border, the party failed to increase the number of seats it holds in Scotland from the solitary one, the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale constituency held by Scotland Office Minister, David Mundell, a 100 per cent improvement though on the party’s performance in 1997.

It’s a situation which has led to persistent taunts that there are more pandas in Scotland than Conservative MPs.

However, the Herald is today reporting that the Conservative Party feels its problem in Scotland is that the more it makes itself heard, the less likely people are to vote for it. The paper explains:

“Conservative strategists found the more they told the electorate the party had a real chance to win a seat the more people were motivated to go out and back their opponents.”

The paper continues by stating that the party intends to “keep a lower profile with many voters at the next General Election”, relying instead on “sophisticated election techniques which mean they can target only those who might be sympathetic to their cause”.

It goes on to quote what it calls a “senior party source” has saying:

“We have a good chance in 2015 by keeping under the radar.

“New techniques means that we can be sure when we send out messages to voters that it is only going to those who will be open to what we are saying.

“We will not end up accidentally getting our message out to people who are so actively turned off by us they go and vote for our political opponents.”

In its editorial, the Herald concludes that the party’s problem is about how visible it may or may not be but its lack of a clear vision and ambiguity over extra powers for Holyrood. Under a headline, “curious way to build an election platform” the paper observes:

“It was startlingly clear from the rows of empty seats at the Scottish Conservatives’ conference in Stirling last month that despite an appearance by the prime minister, the party’s core supporters are dwindling and that it lacks activists.

“This poses a difficult challenge for Ruth Davidson, who won the leadership contest with the support of the “old guard” against the radical proposals of Murdo Fraser for the Scottish party. Having initially opposed further powers for Holyrood, she has set up a commission to recommend what form further devolution should take. Strategy for the 2015 General Election will only be relevant if there is a No vote in the independence referendum.

“The crucial test for the Tories at that juncture will be credibility. Clear proposals and a serious commitment to enhanced powers will gain more votes than canvassing as if they have something to hide.”

Unsurprisingly the tactics have faced derision from the Tories political enemies with a spokesperson for the SNP responding:

“It seems the Scottish Tories are desperately hoping they can keep their heads down and continue to rule Scotland from Westminster – no matter how few Tory MPs actually get elected in Scotland.”

3 Responses to “The Tory plans to keep quiet in Scotland”

  1. Selohesra

    Surely an increase from 0 MP to 1 MP is more than a 100% increase – is the Left’s inability with maths the reason they tanked the economy and not beacuse of some twisted ideology that we’d assumed?

  2. tadramgo

    Conservative support is increasing at an infinite rate!

    Negative growth is still growth!

    Even if you earn no money when you’re self-employed, you’ve still got a job!

  3. Graham Johns

    If I were one of the people in charge of the Tory party, I’d drop the words “and Unionist” from the party’s name, and make it officially the Conservative Party, which I would transform into an English civic nationalist party, along the lines of the SNP. Why they still keep kidding themselves that they’re relevant in Scotland and Wales, I have no idea. As Frank Field MP said in a review of somebody-or-another’s book, it’s their ‘Unionism’ which is their Achilles heel, certainly in the era of devolution. But I’m not in charge of any political party, so it won’t happen.

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