Clydesdale's Conservative candidates for council

The Scottish Conservatives are contesting all four Clydesdale wards and even fielding two candidates in one of them, in the elections to South Lanarkshire Council.

The two candidates are in Clydesdale East, a predominately rural ward where Biggar is the main town.

Putting up two candidates in the three-councillor ward must be seen as a show of confidence by the Tories that their vote is currently on the rise in Clydesdale.

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Indeed, the party’s election literature quotes statistics from the latest test of voter intentions - last year’s Scottish Parliamentary Election - showing the Conservative vote in Clydesdale up almost 12 per cent while Labour support fell by 15 per cent.

Even the nationally dominant SNP lost almost six per cent of its support in Clydcesdale last year, they claim.

The Tories are making no secret of the fact that they now see the Nationalists and not their Labour ‘auld enemy’ as their main opponents.

Only one of the five Conservative candidates in Clydesdale for the May 4 election has previous experience serving on South Lanarkshire Council.

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That exception is in the Clyesdale East Ward where ex-councillor Alex Allison is seeking at return to the council chamber. The businessman works in that ward’s main town of Biggar where the sitting Tory councillor Hamish Wilson is retiring.

His ‘running mate’ in Clydesdale East Ward is Walston’s Eric Holford who is defying the paralysis which struck him 12 years ago to seek office.

In Clydesdale West Ward the Conservative hopes are being carried by Rosebank resident Poppy Corbett, the finance and human resources manager with her family’s electronics business.

She started her working life at the Lanark and Carluke branches of the TSB.

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In Clydesdale North the candidate is boss of a local metal fabrication business Richard Lockhart. His family has very long farming ties to Cleghorn.

In Clydesdale South, a familiar figure in Clydesdale rural politics, Colin McGavigan, is bidding for a seat on SLC, committing himself to winning better services for the countryside community.

At a reception to launch the candidates, Rural Clyesdale Conservative MP David Mundell recommended the council candidates to voters in the May 4 poll, stating they were all “excellent” and would “bring a wealth of experience to the council and be a strong voice for our area on issues that matter.”