Ruth Davidson meets council candidates

Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Conservative & Unionist party, visited Selkirk Conservative Club on the evening of Monday 21st November to meet the candidates adopted by the party for next May's Scottish Borders Council elections and to speak to an audience of around one hundred par

Prime Minister visits Edinburgh

The new prime minister, Theresa May, visited Edinburgh on Friday, days after taking office, for discussions with the first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, about plans for the UK's departure from the European Union. After this meeting, Ruth Davidson introduced Theresa May to a gathering of Scottish Conservatives and Theresa gave a brief speech about our role in working to preserve the Union and holding the SNP to account.

Holyrood Election Results

In the Holyrood elections held on 5th May 2016 the Association's territory encompassed the entire area of Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire (ERB), the seat for which our candidate, John Lamont, was the sitting MSP, and roughly 60% of the area of Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale (MSTL), where we came fourth in 2011 and the sitting MSP was Christine Grahame, the SNP candidate. In the event, John Lamont MSP retained ERB with a 10.8 percentage point increase in his share of the vote to achieve the largest Conservative share of the vote and majority in Scotland; whilst Cllr Michelle Ballantyne improved our position in MSTL from fourth to second and recorded the highest increase in the Conservative share of the vote (16.8 percentage points) in South of Scotland and one of the two or three highest in the whole of Scotland.  

Ruth Davidson visits Hawick

Ruth Davidson visited Hawick today to man a street stall with local candidate John Lamont with the support of a massive crowd (see picture) of eager volunteers, who took the Scottish Conservative & Unionist message out to the people of Hawick. Extremely popular though John is in his constituency, it is safe to say that this was one event where he was not the star of the show. As well as talking to locals, Ruth also reached out to the wider public by doing a TV interview on the streets of Hawick.

Vote Scottish Conservatives Both Times

In the Holyrood elections on 5th May 2016 every voter has two votes. One is for the candidate they want to elect for their constituency and the other is for the regional list of the party they want to elect for the South of Scotland region. The second vote is not a vote for your second choice, it is a vote for your first choice for the region. In the case of Scottish Conservatives living in the Borders that means those who live in Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire should vote for John Lamont as their constituency MSP and those who live in Tweeddale and Lauderdale should vote for Cllr Michelle Ballantyne as their constituency MP. All should cast their second vote for the Scottish Conservative regional list. 

Independence Day

Had Scotland voted Yes in September 2014, today was slated as 'Independence Day'. To mark the occasion, the Scottish Conservatives have commissioned a report based on the Scottish Government's own figures (GERS) that looks at what the likely position of Scotland would have been today, as we became independent, and what the future might have held. It's not an appetizing prospect.

Grayling Dinner

The association held a very successful dinner on Friday 4th March in the Campbell Room of the Carfraemill hotel just outside Lauder. Although the weather was less than spring like, the hotel had laid a roaring log fire in the fireplace and the guests forgot the freezing temperatures outside as they dined on delicious Scottish beef before turning their attention to the speaker for the evening the Right Hon. Chris Grayling MP, the Leader of the House of Commons. He gave a wide-ranging talk that spanned the results of the recent General Election, the current situation in the House of Commons, and looked forward to May's Holyrood Election. As a noted Eurosceptic, many of the questions he faced from the floor focused on that other upcoming vote. However,

A Brace of Cabinet Ministers

Following in the footsteps of Michael Gove, Theresa Villiers, the Northern Ireland Secretary, became the second Cabinet minister to visit the Whitesome Ark, when she dropped in for tea and sandwiches on Friday 12th February on her way from Edinburgh to London. The Ark can now probably lay claim to being country's most politically well connected village hall, and the members of our Berwickshire branch are becoming quite blasé about taking tea with those who sit at the nation's top table. 

Tweeddale drinks party

A drinks party was held at Portmore House on Wednesday 20th January by kind permission of David and Chrissie Reid to welcome the new branch chairman, Fiona Campbell, and to provide an opportunity for Cllr Michelle Ballantyne, for our candidate in Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, to outline her views on the task ahead of her... and us. The photo--with apologies for the politically incorrect rosy hue--shows David Reid, our host for the evening, urging Cllr Michelle Ballantyne, our candidate in MSTL, Fiona Campbell, the new branch chairman, and Robert Miller-Bakewell, the association chairman, on to ever greater efforts. Robert looks as if he could do with a break.

New Education Paper

Looking forward to this May's Scottish Parliament elections, the Scottish Conservatives have published a new paper containing proposals for ways in which Scottish education can be improved. The emphasis in this paper is on measures that do not require extensive or lengthy legislation but which can be delivered in the short term.In essence the proposals are for individual schools to be given more autonomy, to channel Scottish Attainment Challenge funds directly to schools with a high proportion of children from socially deprived backgrounds, for high performing schools to share their ideas and practices with low performing ones and for the creation of school clusters.