IT will be “much harder” for the Tories to hold Douglas Ross’s Moray constituency at the next election as a major shake-up of Scotland’s seats is planned, local councillors predict.

As the Boundary Commission plans to change the borders of 35 seats – and cut the nation’s total number of representatives in the UK Parliament – politicians predict the Scottish Tories will struggle to hold onto their party leader’s Westminster constituency.

Ross, who is also an MSP in the region as well as a part-time linesman, has already declared that he does not intend to run as a candidate at the next General Election.

READ MORE: Maps reveal planned changes to Scotland's constituencies as two MPs to be cut

But as the body intends to split Moray between two different constituencies from summer 2023, his party is expected to face trouble maintaining the seat.

It comes as several polls predict an apocalyptic result for the party in Scotland, with some predicting that they will return zero MPs north of the Border.

As part of a special report in Wednesday’s newspaper, The National examined which areas of the 35 set to change will be most heavily affected.

Jeremie Fernandes, who sits on Moray Council, expects the Boundary Commission changes will have a big impact on Tory support in the area.

"I think Douglas Ross would lose his seat at the next election anyway but of course, in terms of representation, if you take into account Elgin and Nairn, he would lose the seat without any doubt,” the Elgin councillor told The National.

"It would make it so much harder for him. If you look at the results of the previous elections, in the council elections for example, the Tories came third in both wards in Elgin and I believe Nairn is also strong for the SNP. So I don’t think there’s a chance in hell he could win that seat.

"I think the Tory support in Moray is quite strong because of the airbases, but in terms of pure mathematics the proposals could offset that."

The National: SNP councillor Graham LeadbitterSNP councillor Graham Leadbitter

Graham Leadbitter, a councillor who previously led the former SNP administration in Moray, echoed those sentiments – arguing will be “harder” for the Tories to keep their seat.

“The SNP have a very strong vote in both that area of the Highlands [Strathspey] and in Moray,” he said. “Whether the Moray boundary stays the same or changes to what is proposed, we would be undoubtedly be running against the Conservative Party."

The Boundary Commission’s proposals would see Moray split into two seats – one called Aberdeenshire North and Moray East, and another called Nairn, Strathspey and Moray West (maps shown below).

The National:

The National:

The change will see areas like Elgin voting alongside Highland communities of Nairn, Grantown-on-Spey and Aviemore. Those living in Keith would vote for the same MP as people in Aberdeenshire communities like Fraserburgh or Peterhead.

Both Fernandes and Leadbitter told The National that the proposals don’t make sense.

Overall, Scotland is set to lose two MPs, Wales will lose eight, and England will gain 10 as the respective Boundary Commissions of the four nations look to make constituencies proportional to the current population numbers.

The consultation is running until December and constituents can air their views here.