VOTING has closed in the race to succeed Ruth Davidson as the new leader of the Scottish Conservatives.

Jackson Carlaw, the interim leader, and social security spokeswoman Michelle Ballantyne are in the running for the post.

Conservative Party members have until noon to return their ballot papers.

After the votes are cast the new party leader will be announced on Friday.

While Davidson quit as Scottish Tory leader in August last year, the hunt for her successor was delayed by December's general election.

Yesterday, the interim leader's stunning hypocrisy on the Queensferry Crossing was exposed after he tried to score political points over its closure.

A tweet was unearthed from 2017, around the time when the bridge opened, in which Carlaw said he was "delighted" to have convened the Holyrood committee which chose the design of the bridge.

READ MORE: Old tweet exposes Jackson Carlaw's Queensferry Crossing hypocrisy

Carlaw, who served as interim leader for the campaign, is seen as the favourite to replace her – despite the Tories losing seven seats in Scotland in the election.

He has highlighted his record of leadership, having stood in for Davidson when she was on maternity leave.

Carlaw is also promising policies such as ending council tax payments for apprentices.

Ballantyne has highlighted her so-called "blue collar" Conservative agenda throughout the campaign, pledging radical reform of the party if she wins.

Last year in Holyrood, Ballantyne said that poor people should not be entitled to have "as many children as they like" and claim benefits – despite being social security spokesperson and claiming benefits for her six kids.

READ MORE: Tory MSP defends views on benefits claimants having children

She also claimed that climate change had "benefitted" Scotland.

READ MORE: Michelle Ballantyne mocked over claim climate change will 'benefit' Scotland