RETAINING the Tories’ seventh Scottish seat is not on the party’s to-do list for the next General Election, the Scottish Conservative chair has suggested by omission.

Craig Hoy, the Scots Tory chair, told the Telegraph that they had a “six-plus-six” election target: A reference to the number of MPs they won in Scotland in 2019, and the number they are aiming to win in 2024.

Hoy’s analysis appears to have essentially given up the East Kilbride and Strathaven seat, which the Tories currently hold due to the defection of former SNP MP Lisa Cameron.

He told the Telegraph that, as well as holding onto the six seats they won in 2019, the Tories are targeting the following SNP-held seats: Moray West, Nairn and Strathspey; Angus and Perthshire Glens; Perth and Kinross-shire; Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock; East Renfrewshire; and Argyll and Bute.

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Due to boundary changes, the seats in the 2024 election will not exactly align with the current constituencies, but the above six are notionally held by the SNP.

SNP defector Cameron’s East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow constituency will become East Kilbride and Strathaven. The Conservatives have never returned an MP in the area in an election.

The six other constituencies the Tories notionally hold and will be looking to defend in 2024 are: Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk; Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale; Dumfries and Galloway; Aberdeenshire North and Moray East; Gordon and Buchan; and West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine.

The Tories have called on Unionists to tactically vote for their party in the upcoming General Election in order to “hasten the demise” of First Minister Humza Yousaf, who is an elected MSP and will not contest the General Election directly.

Hoy told the Telegraph said: “We’re in Aberdeen this week [for the Scots Tory conference] because it’s where a lot of our target seats are. There’s another five or six [SNP] seats that are in contention for us.

“We’re not saying we’re going to win that number of seats. But if you want to bring about not just a bad night for the SNP but a terrible night, the only way to do that is to vote Tory.”

“Everyone knows Humza Yousaf is a dud but the election is the test of that,” he added.

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Polls have predicted a poor result for the Conservatives UK-wide at the next General Election, with Labour leader Keir Starmer expected to win in a landslide.

But the Tories think they could expand their representation in Scotland at the expense of the SNP, their main contender in more rural areas.

Drew Hendry, the SNP’s economy spokesperson at Westminster, said: “The damage the Tories have caused to people in Scotland is unforgivable – they have trashed the economy and left families to struggle with the cost of living, with no support.

“Voters in Scotland know better than to trust the Tories and they will jump at the chance to give them the boot at the next election. Voting SNP is the only way to make Scotland Tory free.”