“I think Nicola Sturgeon will be the most left-wing First Minister Scotland has had. That gives us an opportunity,” Ruth Davidson told BuzzFeed News.
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BIRMINGHAM -- The leader of the Scottish Conservatives is convinced her party can win Westminster seats in the country by offering an alternative to a left-leaning SNP.
Ruth Davidson told BuzzFeed News that her party has been revived by the independence referendum campaign and can offer an alternative to the SNP if the party shifts to the left under leader-elect Nicola Sturgeon.
"I think Nicola Sturgeon will be the most left-wing First Minister Scotland has had," Davidson said. "That gives us an opportunity." Sturgeon is expected to be named First Minister following the resignation of Alex Salmond after Scotland rejected independence two weeks ago.
Davidson suggested that the party is targeting a number of constituencies, although refused to put her neck on the line and name them. She said: "I'm learning from our scars. We named our target seats in 2010 and lost 11 of them heavily."
When pushed on who might lose out as a result of a Conservative surge, Davidson said: "I think we could win votes from Liberals."
She also said she wished that Holyrood elections were being held before the UK general election. "It would have been great to use that election to build a good platform," she said.
Davison was speaking at a reception for Scottish Conservatives at the Conservative Party conference on Monday night, which Prime Minister David Cameron also attended.
The prime minister said the Conservative Party will target more Scottish seats at the general election as the campaign has given activists a strong foundation from which to build support.
Darren Staples / Reuters
The reception was unusually busy for the Scottish Conservatives, who only have one MP, and a number of people in the room agreed with Davidson.
Chris Clarkson, 31, a Conservative councillor in Salford said: "I think the fact a lot of socially conservative Scots who were voting SNP had their minds refocussed by the referendum because they weren't backing independence.
"We saw that with results in places like Perthshire, Angus, Murray, where areas that voted in SNP MPs and MSPs were voting overwhelmingly to stay in the Union and I think that's going to help us going forwards because the SNP is lurching to the left."
Kyle Thornton, 20, a member of Glasgow Conservatives, agreed with Clarkson. He said: "The future for the Conservative Party is bright. I would be really surprised if we didn't sentda group of MPs down to Westminster. I think we're taking them to SNP, from Labour and from the Liberal Democrats."
But there were some stragglers at the party. Conservative Future member Chris Carter, 20, said: "I'm only here because my friends are here."