If Murdo Fraser, the favourite for the post, is voted in as the leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party next month then he says he will disband the party and launch a new right of centre Scottish party.
At the moment the Tories have one Scottish MP on which their legitimacy north of the border hangs, that is David Mundell of Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale.
If Mr Mundell transfers across under this, then David Cameron will become the first Prime Minister to have no MPs in Scotland.
The Telegraph reports Mr Fraser as saying that the Tories are now a ‘toxic brand’ in Scotland and that he will start ‘a new party for a new Scotland’ that will contest in all Scottish elections.
Mr Cameron it appears will be ‘remaining neutral’ in case he is seen to interfere.
This does of course raise constitutional questions. How can a party claim the right to rule the whole UK when they do not even contest elections in Scotland?
Or will Cameron have to completely rebuild the Conservative Party north of the border?
Another view is that this is just a plain and simple re-branding of the Tories in Scotland. After all they could form a coalition once the new party is established.
As Lord Forsyth of Drumlean (Scottish secretary 1995-97) said “I think it is naive and simplistic in the extreme to think that changing the name of the party and cutting it adrift from the rest of the Conservative Party could somehow bring electoral success. In fact, electoral success is delivered by having credible policies. I think the strategy is one of appeasement of the nationalists and I think it is one that will fail. Any policy which appeases nationalists is damaging to the union by definition.”