Former Borders councillor fails in bid to be Scotland’s top Tory
Mr Carlaw, MSP for Eastwood in East Renfrewshire, polled 4,917 votes to Mrs Ballantyne’s 1,581.
She was his only rival for the leadership, throwing her hat into the ring at the beginning of January, three days ahead of Mr Carlaw, acting leader since August 2019.
Almost 60% of the 10,911 party members eligible to vote did so, and the result was announced today, February 14, at the Radisson Hotel in Edinburgh.
Following her defeat, former Selkirkshire councillor Mrs Ballantyne, of Walkerburn, said: “Congratulations to Jackson Carlaw on being elected leader of the Scottish Conservatives.
“Thank you so much to all those who voted for me and a heartfelt thank-you to my campaign team.
“Now our party must come together to show the real alternative to the Scottish National Party and beat them in 2021.”
Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP Rachael Hamilton, co-chairperson of Mr Carlaw’s campaign, was also quick to congratulate the 60-year-old, saying: “Congratulations to Jackson Carlaw.
“Thank you to everyone who helped with the campaign to get Jackson elected as leader.
“It’s time to get our sleeves rolled up ready to take the SNP on in 2021.”
Mr Carlaw said: “The result today demonstrates I have the clear confidence of the party.
“I have a bigger share of the vote than Boris Johnson achieved in his leadership election, I have a bigger share of the vote than Ruth Davidson achieved and a bigger share of the vote than David Cameron achieved in any of the previous Conservative Party leadership elections, so I have a clear mandate from the party in Scotland now to make the changes required to lead us into the election next year.”