Jackson Carlaw will succeed Ruth Davidson as leader of the Scottish Conservatives after seeing off challenger Michelle Ballantyne in a vote among the party’s members.
Carlaw, who was favourite going into the contest, comfortably secured the leadership having amassed 4,917 votes to Ballantyne’s 1,581. He had been serving as the interim leader of the party since August, when Davidson first stood down.
The new leader will be tasked with leading the Scottish Conservatives into next year’s Scottish Parliament elections. The party is currently Holyrood’s second-largest behind the SNP, who are tipped by opinion polls to win a fourth consecutive term.
Carlaw will also have a point to prove after having overseen the party’s campaign in Scotland ahead of the December general election, which culminated in seven Scottish Conservative MPs losing their seats.
Ahead of the leadership result being announced, Ballantyne accused Carlaw of “lacking vision and ambition” going into the general election, while Carlaw slammed his opponent for not being proactive enough to put forward “a single policy proposal” as a front-bench MSP.