DOUGLAS Ross should “own the consequences” of his own failings as Scottish Tories brace for election losses, a former party colleague has said.

Adam Tomkins said it was “nonsense” to claim that a poor showing in Scotland’s council votes could be blamed on Boris Johnson as he accused Ross’s team of trying to “pass the buck”.

The former MSP, who stood down at the 2021 Holyrood vote, cited the Scottish Tory leader’s U-turn on calls for the Prime Minister to resign over the partygate scandal.

Polls in the lead up to Thursday’s elections forecast a downturn for the Tories in Scotland, with Labour set to take second place overall.

Readying themselves for “heavy losses”, senior members of Ross’s team sought to divert blame away from the Moray politician.

“There are a sizable number of Tory voters who are staying at home because of anger at Boris and partygate,” a source told the Times.

READ MORE: LIVE Scottish local council elections tracker: Maps and charts show results so far

Meanwhile, Perth and Kinross councillor Chris Ahern told Politico that rank and file Conservatives had been “dropped in it” by the scandal-ridden Westminster administration. He said: “I did say, ‘Please don’t do anything to jeopardise the local elections’. And then, what have we had in the last few weeks?”

But such claims were rubbished by Tomkins, who replied on social media.

The former Glasgow MSP wrote: “I’m sorry but this is nonsense. Whatever today’s results show Douglas Ross owns this, not Boris.

“It was Douglas who U-turned, Douglas who flipped, and Douglas who backed the PM. He and his team need to own the consequences, not pass the buck.”

The National: Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross in Davidson Mains, Edinburgh, on the campaign trail

Although they are anticipating an electoral slump, Scottish Tories believe the situation is recoverable.

“People are not going to other parties, particularly not Labour, but they are staying at home” One official who had been staffing phone banks told the Times.

South of the Border, the Prime Minister was blamed as Conservatives lost several key seats.

As dozens of Tory councillors lost their seats against a backdrop of the row about lockdown-busting parties in No 10 and the cost-of-living crisis, local Conservative leaders criticised Johnson.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson faces furious backlash as Tories lose Thatcher's 'favourite' council

John Mallinson, leader of Carlisle City Council hit out after Labour took control of the new Cumberland authority which will replace it.

He told the BBC: “I think it is not just partygate, there is the integrity issue. Basically I just don’t feel people any longer have the confidence that the Prime Minister can be relied upon to tell the truth.”

In Portsmouth, where the Tories lost four seats, Simon Bosher the leader of the Conservative group said the PM should “take a good, strong look in the mirror” because “those are people that are actually bearing the brunt on the doorstep of behaviour of what’s been going on in Westminster”.

Ravi Govindia, leader of the Wandsworth Tories, said: “Let’s not be coy about it, of course national issues were part of the dilemma people were facing.”

Scotland’s results are expected to be announced throughout Friday afternoon, with some 1227 councillors to be elected.