THE SNP ’s business convener is being tipped to oust Tory Paul Masterton at next month’s General Election.

Masterton took the Renfrewshire East seat from Kirsten Oswald in 2017 but the latest polling suggests he is on course to lose the seat, which voted by 74% to remain in the EU.

According to political consultancy tool Electoral Calculus, the Tory’s share of the vote is expected to fall by almost 8% in the area, with a 2% swing towards the SNP.

It is currently unclear whether the Brexit Party will stand in the constituency, with its candidate Paul Aitken – a former Tory councillor –pulling out last month.

Should Nigel Farage’s party enter the race – as the Brexiteer suggested when he said they would be fighting 600 seats across the UK – the move could help the SNP further by splitting the Leave vote between the Tories and the Brexit Party.

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Masterton campaigned for a Remain vote in the EU referendum but now supports Brexit – voting for Boris Johnson’s deal and against the Benn Act, which stopped a No-Deal exit at the end of last month.

Oswald said people in East Renfrewshire were angry about the prospect of being taken out of the EU after voting overwhelming to Remain. She added that despite voting against independence in 2014 an increasing number of local people were open to a second independence referendum.

“People are very troubled about what has been going on at Westminster,” she said. “We have a very clear message. We want to stop Brexit, we are very pro-European in the SNP.”

The National: Tory MP Paul MastertonTory MP Paul Masterton

She added: “People are keen to talk to us about Scots having a right to choose our future and don’t think it should be left to the other parties to determine our future. People are interested in having that discussion and the choice Scotland will have and that it shouldn’t be up to Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn.”

A Brexit Party source said the party was intending to stand in all constituencies. Oswald took the Renfrewshire East constituency in a surprise victory over the then Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy in 2015. But she lost out to Masterton (pictured above) in 2017. Former Better Together chief Blair McDougall who stood for Labour came third.

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Oswald added: “We have a lot of EU nationals in the constituency and a lot of people who are working in medical and other professional roles which are important for all of us.

“There is a real understanding and appreciation of the value of EU membership to us. People are extremely unhappy with the chaos that the Westminster parties have brought, the incompetence over dealing with a big issue and that is not the way they want to go forward.”

Oswald is the first woman to become the SNP’s business convener – or party chair – succeeding Derek Mackay in November last year after being nominated by Nicola Sturgeon.

She is responsible for overseeing operational party matters and chairing the National Executive Committee and National Conference.