The Scottish Conservatives have high hopes of making an impact at the 2017 Local Government elections.
Nationally, the once much maligned Tories appear to be on a bit of a roll, with the message from their straight-talking leader Ruth Davidson MSP that they can be the Number 2 party in Scotland’s town halls after May 4 gaining momentum.
In Falkirk district, its ambitions are a bit more modest, one candidate standing in each of the nine wards means they will never take control here.
The clear aim is to return more than the usual two this time if it can.
Malcolm Nicol, a veteran of the Municipal Buildings and depute leader of the last Falkirk Council, says their opposition to ‘Indyref 2’ will help their numbers go up, while their commitment to better local services will do their chances no harm either.
Mr Nicol claimed: “Our candidates are finding that the prospect of another referendum is the one issue the vast majority of people are raising on the doorstep, both for and against.
“With opinion polls showing the Conservatives in Scotland well ahead of Labour, voters are turning to us as the party they see as best placed to stand up to the SNP.
“People who want to see the SNP get back to the day job rather than obsessing about another divisive referendum are realising the way to send the message is to elect a strong group of Conservative councillors on May 4.”
In 2012, a total of 42,788 valid votes were cast to elect 32 councillors to the nine wards and the Conservatives picked up 4725 of them.
Most popular Tory by far was Mr Nicol who attracted the support of 1447 voters in Ward 8 Lower Braes. Colleague, John Patrick, was returned in Ward 7 Falkirk South with 673 votes.