DOUGLAS Ross has been forced to backtrack after kicking off his time as Scottish Tory leader by conceding defeat to the SNP.

The MP was installed as Jackson Carlaw’s successor yesterday by default as no other candidate put themselves forward for the position.

After winning the role Ross pledged to lead a party providing “scrutiny and opposition” to the SNP, who according to recent polls are on track to gain a majority in the Scottish Parliament election next year.

READ MORE: WATCH: Douglas Ross concedes defeat to SNP on first day as Tory leader

Figures from several parties noted that his comment showed Ross had already conceded defeat to Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP just hours after becoming leader.

Tommy Sheppard, SNP MP, called the statement a “gaffe royale”, while Labour MSP Monica Lennon also picked up on the comment.

This afternoon Ross performed a U-turn, now insisting the Scottish Tories will win in 2021.

Posting a BBC video highlighting Ross as a “family man” with the “aim of ousting Nicola Sturgeon as first minister”, the MP commented: “Our party is going to be one voters all across Scotland can unite behind - and in May, we'll take on the SNP - and win.”

One commenter noted there had been a “slight change in tone from yesterday’s being a good opposition to the SNP …”

Panelbase polling, carried out for the Sunday Times and published last month, suggested the SNP are on course for a landslide win.

In the constituency vote the SNP were on track to win 55%, with the Tories on 20%, Labour 15%, the LibDems on 6% and Greens on 3%.

In the regional proportional representation vote, the SNP were on 50%, the Tories on 18%, Labour 15%, the LibDems 6% and the Greens on 8%.