THE Scottish Conservatives fear losing up to six seats to George Galloway’s All For Unity party – and are also concerned over further possible losses to Alex Salmond's Alba Party.

A Panelbase poll on Sunday put support for the new pro-UK party at 4% with backing for Alex Salmond's new independence party on 6%.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the Tories believe the situation could leave them vulnerable in central Scotland and the south of Scotland, where they picked up the final list seats in 2016.

"With 4% support, they would cost us five or six seats,” a party source said told the paper, referring to Galloway's party. “Their support is coming disproportionately from us.”

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The source added: "That's before you take into account Alba on the list, which increases the competition for the remaining seats. It's a double whammy."

Another senior insider told the paper: "The most likely scenario in the south of Scotland is Galloway will take out a Tory, not get elected and put a Green nationalist in instead."

The leader of AFU, Jamie Blackett, said he believed the party’s support could rise to “14%, or even higher”.

He said: “We are not the vote splitters. The vote splitters are the three main unionist parties who are refusing to stand down candidates who have absolutely no hope of winning in constituencies.

“The Tories have spent the last few days indulging in a self-centred attack on All For Unity when they could have been attacking the SNP.”

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The Panelbase survey also made grim reading for Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross, showing his approval rating down seven points in the past month to minus 23, the lowest of any leader of any political party in Scotland.

He is widely seen to have given a lacklustre performance in the BBC leaders' debate last week, where he was told to "grow up" by Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar.

On Monday, he was forced to deny that he’d been sidelined in the campaign in favour of former leader Ruth Davidson, who is not standing for re-election to Holyrood next month as she is moving to the House of Lords.

Davidson, who has been the Tory group leader in Holyrood since Ross took over from Jackson Carlaw last year, is to be the face of a new campaign to urge voters to back the Tories in May.

“Ruth is one of the most successful politicians in Scottish politics, and she rightly plays a key role in our campaign,” Ross said. “It’s my team, my manifesto, my policies and I’m delighted Ruth is a strong, integral part of that team.”

The revelation that Davidson is to be the face of the Tory campaign prompted the SNP to say Ross, who has been widely criticised for missing political and community events because of his second job as a football referee, had been moved to the "subs bench". 

Keith Brown, the SNP’s depute leader, said on Monday: “Douglas Ross has failed so badly in his short time as Scottish Tory leader that when the campaign goes into panic mode, they have dropped him to the subs bench and rolled out Baroness Ruth Davidson to be Boris Johnson’s representative in Scotland.

“He is used to being on the side-lines in his refereeing career, but now he’s there in his political career too – if the situation was so ‘mission-critical’, why is he not the man in the middle?

“It is desperation from the Tories that the only option they have left is to wheel out Baroness Davidson before she skulks off to her £300-a-day job in the unelected House of Lords – she is the democracy denier in chief.

“In just over 4 weeks, the people of Scotland can re-elect Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister and put Scotland’s future into Scotland’s hands, not Boris Johnson’s by giving both votes to the SNP."

Speaking on Tuesday Ross said pro-Union voters should not "flirt" with smaller parties like Galloway's claiming they will reduce the overall number of MSPs who oppose independence.

He said this would come at the cost of reducing other pro-Union parties' MSPs in the list vote.

"The numbers are clear in opinion polls," he said.

"The fringe, smaller parties do enough to take support away from all pro-UK parties but don't get enough support to have a significant number of MSPs elected."

Referring to the recent poll in The Sunday Times, he added: "It showed that support for Alliance for Unity may just scrape one MSP being elected at the expense of seven or eight pro-UK MSPs.

"That is the real message to people, that flirting with a new, unestablished party will actually play into the hands of the SNP and the nationalists rather than the pro-UK bloc of MSPs."

Ross had earlier suggested an electoral pact with Scottish Labour and the Liberal Democrats to help pro-UK MSPs get elected.

He said this was "very different" to the approach taken by Salmond's Alba party, which is only contesting regional list seats.

He continued: "There is an opportunity for people to give their party list vote to the Scottish Conservatives to stop an SNP majority and stop another referendum.

"That was the tried and tested method that worked in 2016 and that can work again in this election."

The latest Panelbase survey for The Sunday Times last weekend showed both Labour and the Conservatives losing ground and significant numbers of independence supporters preparing to vote tactically for the Alba Party. 

The poll of 1009 voters pointed to the SNP gaining two seats to secure an outright majority of one, the Scottish Greens tipped to pick up eight seats (up two from 2016) and Alba six, giving a pro-independence majority of 29.

In the constituency vote, when undecideds are excluded, it put the SNP on 49% (+2 since last month), with the Conservatives on 22% (-1), Labour 20% (unchanged), the Lib Dems on 6% (-1) and Greens unchanged on 2%.

In the regional vote, the SNP is on 39% (-3), the Tories on 21% (-1), Labour on 17%  (-2), Lib Dems on 5% (-2) and Greens 8% (+2), with new parties Alba on % and All For Unity on 4% .

Polling expert Sir John Curtice forecast that would give the SNP 65 seats (+2 since 2016), the Tories 24 (-7), Labour 20 (-4). Lib Dem 5 (unchanged), Greens eight (+2), Alba 6 and All for Unity one, with Galloway expected to win in South Scotland.