It is a great pleasure for me to send you Christmas greetings and best wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year.
2018 has tested our stamina, resilience and determination to take forward the great cause of Conservative values and beliefs and it is good to note that we have made considerable progress. Locally, we delivered thousands of letters and surveys from Ruth Davidson to homes in North Ayrshire, Arran and Cumbrae and the response has been very encouraging. Our 7 Councillors on North Ayrshire Council have spoken up on many issues of importance to local people and we follow the progress of Jamie Greene MSP who was our candidate in Cunninghame North in 2016. This year Jamie was promoted to the role of Shadow Transport Minister, an important role with our dependence on ferries to Arran and Cumbrae, train services and even potholes in the roads which were judged among the worst in the country.
I thought it would be helpful to share with you the overall result in the ten local government by-elections held across Scotland this year.
These results are testament to the hard work of excellent local candidates, strong campaign plans and activists who were prepared to help throughout. In what has sometimes been a difficult political climate, we have been able to demonstrate that a strong national message and brand, combined with good local issue campaigning produces a win over the SNP across Scotland. The most recent was only last week in the Dumfries and Galloway Council seat of Dee and Glenkens when our candidate had a 12.6% increase in the Conservative vote over the 2017 election.
These results show that, in spite of a difficult national background, here in Scotland we continue to make progress and there is no reason to think that this would not be the case in North Ayrshire as well. As a local Party, we need to focus on building our activists numbers and that is where you can help. In the new year we will be needing help with a number of projects. I look forward to working with you all as we prepare for our next big electoral test in 2021.
In the meantime, I’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a restful break from campaigning.
Richard Wilkinson, Chairman