Voting to close in Scottish Tory leadership contest

Jackson Carlaw and Michelle Ballantyne are both hoping to succeed Ruth Davidson at the helm of the party.

Voting to close in Scottish Tory leadership contest Getty Images

Voting closes later on Thursday in the race to succeed Ruth Davidson as the new leader of the Scottish Conservatives.

Jackson Carlaw, the interim leader, and social security spokeswoman Michelle Ballantyne are in the running for the post.

Conservative Party members have until noon to return their ballot papers.

After the votes are cast the new party leader will be announced on Friday.

While Ms Davidson quit as Scottish Tory leader in August last year, the hunt for her successor was delayed by December’s general election.

Mr Carlaw, who served as interim leader for the campaign, is seen as the favourite to replace her – despite the Tories losing seven seats in Scotland  in the election.

He has highlighted his record of leadership, having stood in for Ms Davidson when she was on maternity leave.

Mr Carlaw is also promising policies such as ending council tax payments for apprentices.

Ms Ballantyne has highlighted her “blue collar” Conservative agenda throughout the campaign, pledging radical reform of the party if she wins.