Ruth Davidson has been elected as leader of the Scottish Conservatives, after a campaign of soul-searching for the Tories north of the border. The result comes as a surprise for the party, which had expected to elect Davidson's rival, Murdo Fraser, as leader.
In the final round Ruth Davidson won 2983 votes and Murdo Fraser received 2417. For the first time the Scottish Tories used a proportional voting system to choose their leader, a process which saw the other candidates knocked out during the day.
At the tender age of 32, Ms. Davidson is a newcomer to frontline Scottish politics having only been elected to parliament at Holyrood in May of this year. She recently claimed to have "no knowledge of Margaret Thatcher", which might be a good thing for a party which still only has one MP and which failed to make any real electoral breakthrough in May's elections to the Scottish Parliament.
The gay former BBC presenter and Territorial Army reservist replaced Murdo Fraser as favourite in the past couple of days.
Fraser had advocated formally separating from the Conservative Party in London and rebranding the Scottish tories as a new political party. This policy was sharply criticised by his fellow contenders, and significant Tory backers in Scotland also threatened to withdraw their donations had it gone ahead.
Amid claims of a low turnout in this leadership election, it looks like those Tories who did vote decided that was a step too far.
Ruth Davidson's campaign focused on increasing membership of the party and broadening its financial base. She promised members she would ensure that every seat was properly contested by the Tories with "no paper candidates."
Her election comes in the wake of another poll showing that support for independence in Scotland is steadily increasing. A Yougov poll last week showed support for independence at 34%, a rise of 6% on six months ago. Opposition stands at 52%, down from 57%.