20 years ago the Tories became extinct as a parliamentary party in Scotland. It seemed that the party has little hope of revival.
Scotland voted for devolution in 1997. The Conservatives campaigned against. They then accepted accepted devolution. This meant that they Conservative and Unionist Party could no longer rely on the votes of the 25% of people who opposed devolution. The Tories soon became the fourth party in Scotland. It seemed that the Conservatives would never be a force to be reckoned with in North Britain again.
The Tories were seen as too right wing and too English.
The Scottish Parliament has regional top up MSPs. Had it not been for this then the Tories would not have had anyone in Hollyrood at all.
It was extraordinary for the Conservatives to beat Labour in the last Westminster election in Scotland.
In Ruth Davidson the Scottish Conservatives and Unionists have a leader who breaks all the stereotypes. She is a journalist and an out lesbian from Glasgow – a most unconservative city. She is very different from the upper class men who were the face of the party until the 90s.
The separation referendum made the Tories mainstream. Labour and the Lib Dems shared platforms with the Tories. After that they could scarcely anathematise the Conservative and Unionist Party.
Labour has lost much credibility in Scotland. For those who oppose the SNP then the Conservative Party is the obvious choice to vote for. Thatcher was a hate figure for many in Scotland due to mass unemployment and the community charge. Since her death she is no longer such a factor.