Ruth Davidson: Brexit party pact would be 'admission the Tories are dead'

Ruth Davidson has dismissed talk of an electoral pact between the Conservatives and the Brexit party, claiming the Tories will recover if they can secure the UK's departure from the European Union.

Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 1:02 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 2:02 pm
Ruth Davidson said the Tories must rule out any electoral pact with the Brexit party

The Edinburgh Central MSP said her party would bounce back from its trouncing in last month's European elections by "restoring our reputation for competence" and by reaching out to voters who may be apprehensive about how "the rest of the world will view post-Brexit Britain".

Nigel Farage's party returned 29 of the UK's 73 MEPs at the Euro poll despite having only been founded in November last year. Several polls have since put the breakaway pro-Brexit movement ahead of the Tories in Westminster voting intentions, causing panic among some senior party members.

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But such tactics have not found favour with the leader of the Scottish Conservatives.

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"To win the next general election, we don't have to become the Brexit party, make an electoral pact with them in certain seats, or offer a coalition in parliament," Davidson wrote in the Daily Telegraph.

"We have to respect the referendum result and leave the EU as we said we would. Without that, there is no trust, and without trust, people will not give us their vote."

She continued: "As identity politics becomes more pervasive, such single-issue parties will increase in number. That doesn't mean traditional parties of government are on the way out. But to survive, they need the right response.

"Doing a deal with the Brexit party would be an admission of defeat. And we're not dead yet."

A YouGov poll published today found that a majority of Tory members would risk Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom as long as Brexit was delivered.

The survey also revealed that most members believe that successfully bringing about Brexit will win the Tories at least the next election. Should the next leader manage to bring Britain out of the EU with a deal, 52 per cent of party members believe this will hand the Conservatives a victory at the next election and a further 10% think it will deliver a domino run of election victories.