The Scottish Tories are no longer “just the party of Ruth Davidson” and will now broaden their offer to voters beyond opposition to independence, Douglas Ross has pledged. The party leader defied predictions last week to maintain the number of Conservative MSPs at Holyrood, winning 31 seats and a record number of votes by campaigning relentlessly against a second referendum. However, Mr Ross, who took over from Jackson Carlaw last August, said he would now look to build a credible government-in-waiting, and admitted acting as a strong opposition to the SNP at Holyrood was “not enough”. He outlined his determination to win Bute House from the nationalists in 2026 and become Scotland’s first ever Tory First Minister. “Now is the time to come together in the national interest and deliver Scotland’s recovery from Covid,” Mr Ross said, in a post-election statement. “But longer term, to succeed in rebuilding Scotland from the last 14 years, we can’t just stop the SNP. We need to challenge them for the top job.