Meghan Gallacher hailed the “extraordinary” General Election result of the Conservatives in Motherwell and Wishaw — and reckons there could be even better to come.
The newly-elected councillor was her party’s Westminister candidate for the second time in three years, and she more than doubled her vote from 3695 to 8490.
The Tories remained in third place behind the SNP’s Marion Fellows and Labour’s Angela Feeney, but Councillor Gallacher says the result is further evidence that her party is now a force to be reckoned with in this area.
Last month she was one of 10 new Tory councillors elected to North Lanarkshire Council, a result that surprised many given the lingering resentment towards the party since the days of the Margaret Thatcher government and the closure of Ravenscraig in 1992.
At just 25, Councillor Gallacher is too young to remember any of that and she believes there are a number of factors behind the Tory revival.
She said: “When I think of Ravenscraig it’s not necessarily about what happened when Mrs Thatcher was prime minister.
“The political sphere has changed over the last 10 or 20 years. Things are very different now.
“There is also the independence factor. Labour has been quite weak on the union and that’s something we’ve always been strong on.”
Councillor Gallacher, who is the Tory group leader on North Lanarkshire Council, added: “I was delighted to see our General Election vote increase throughout North Lanarkshire.
“It was quite extraordinary and I hope we can build on it. You never know, we might even win a constituency in North Lanarkshire at the next Scottish Parliament election.”
More on the General Election result in the Times & Speaker, out on Wednesday.