Tories expect to make gains in Scotland at general election, says Sunak

The PM made his prediction despite the Tories slumping to their lowest rating in Scotland since Liz Truss’s premiership in a recent poll.

Rishi Sunak was speaking at the Scottish Conservative conference
Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak was speaking at the Scottish Conservative conference (Michal Wachucik/PA)

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said he expects his party to make gains in Scotland at the next general election, despite recent polling.

A Survation poll released on Friday shows the Tories in Scotland will drop to 15% support at the next election – the lowest rating since immediately after Liz Truss’s mini-budget.

But speaking to journalists at the Scottish Conservative conference in Aberdeen, the Prime Minister said the party is feeling positive about the response of voters on the doorstep.

“That’s not reflective of what we’re hearing on the ground – the recent success that we’re having in council by-elections,” he said.

“I think come the election – because that’s ultimately the only one that matters – I think we expect to gain when it comes to Scotland and that’s because our message resonates.”

The Prime Minister went on to take a swipe at the record of the Scottish Government under the stewardship of the SNP, while claiming his Government is “delivering for the people of Scotland”.

Rishi Sunak, right, visited Angus with Scottish Secretary Alister Jack earlier on Friday
Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak, right, visited Angus with Scottish Secretary Alister Jack earlier on Friday (Michal Wachucik/PA)

He added: “You can see it in our plan for the economy, which is working and we’ve turned the corner at the start of this year.

“Inflation has been halved, wages are rising and we’re cutting people’s taxes, cutting taxes for small businesses.

“The contrast with the SNP and Labour is that they will just take us back to square one.”

His comments come in the weeks after the UK officially entered recession.

The Tories, he said, want to “give people the peace of mind that there’s a brighter future ahead”, but the SNP’s “obsession” with independence means public services – particularly the NHS and education – are suffering.

He added: “If you vote Conservative, not only do you strengthen the Union, you’ll have financial security and peace of mind and strong public services.”

Responding to the Prime Minister’s visit to Aberdeen for the Scottish Tory conference, SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn said: “The Tories have trashed the UK economy, slashed Scotland’s budget and sent the cost of living soaring.

“Rishi Sunak should have used his flying visit to apologise to families across Scotland who are skint and scunnered as a result of his Government’s appalling record of failure.

“With a general election in sight, voting SNP is the way to make Scotland Tory-free at this election – and the way to get rid of unelected Tory governments for good with independence.

“Unlike Sunak and Starmer, a strong team of SNP MPs will stand up for Scotland’s values, demand investment in the NHS, prioritise help with the cost of living, and defend Scotland’s right to choose our future.”