Humza Yousaf will launch the SNP’s general election campaign in Glasgow on Friday with a pitch to “wipe the Tories off the electoral map”.
The First Minister will deliver a speech to party members at the Oran Mor bar and venue in the city’s west end.
It comes after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said it was his “working assumption” that a UK ballot will take place in the second half of 2024.
Speaking on Friday afternoon, Yousaf will say his party is best placed to unseat the Tories’ six MPs in Scotland.
Polls suggest Labour is on course to win the next election with the party leading the governing Conservatives by around 20 points in some polls.
Yousaf is expected to say: “Today I want to tell you how, together, we can get the best outcome for the country.
“The first step we take towards a brighter future must be to kick the Tories out.
“Let’s be absolutely clear here: Rishi Sunak is finished. The Tories are done – thank goodness.
“The damage they have caused to Scotland is unforgivable and this year we must take the opportunity to kick them out of Scotland completely.”
He will say the SNP is “by far the best-placed party to do that”.
He will add: “In every Tory-held seat in Scotland we are the party in second place.
“Today I am setting an ambition for the SNP to wipe the Tories from Scotland’s electoral map by winning all six of those Tory seats.
“That is a big ask, but I don’t believe you go into elections unless you are willing to be ambitious.
“It’s also the case that in more than half of the SNP-held seats, it is the Tories who are in second place.
“So, to people right across the country, our message will be very clear: vote SNP for a Tory-free Scotland.”
Scottish Conservative chair Craig Hoy said: “The Scottish public are sick and tired of the independence-obsessed SNP ignoring their real priorities – such as the economy and Scotland’s ailing public services – and trying to turn the next election into a de facto referendum on separation.
“Voters know that the only way to shift the focus onto the issues that matter to them – and shut the door on Humza Yousaf’s independence plan for good – is to unseat SNP MPs.
“And, as Humza Yousaf points out, in swathes of constituencies across the country, only the Scottish Conservatives can do that.”
Scottish Labour’s deputy leader Jackie Baillie said despite the SNP “posturing” to unseat the Tories, “Labour is getting ready to kick them out of government”.
She said: “The SNP is desperately scrambling for relevance at the next election but voters face a straightforward choice – more chaos and decline with a Tory government or a fresh start with a Labour one.”
The next general election will be the first to take place since Yousaf became leader of the SNP last year.
Polls suggest the Scottish Tories could be pushed into third place north of the border with Scottish Labour and the SNP neck and neck.
Despite a declining SNP, independence support has remained somewhat steady in Scotland.
Last week, however, SNP MP Tommy Sheppard claimed the Scottish independence debate would be over if his party lost the next UK-wide ballot.
His party voted overwhelmingly at its Aberdeen conference in October to back Yousaf’s plan to try and immediately begin independence negotiations with the UK Government if it wins a majority of the Scottish seats at the next general election.
It means the First Minister would need to return at least 29 MPs to press for talks to begin. The party currently accounts for 43 of Scotland’s 59 Westminster seats.
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