An analysis of every by-election in 2018 puts Ruth Davidson’s Scottish Conservatives narrowly in front of the SNP, and twice as popular as Labour.
There were 10 local authority votes this year, the most recent being a Scottish Conservative victory in Dumfries and Galloway’s Dee and Glenkens ward.
And overall, the party received 32.6 per cent of the vote across the 12 months.
That compares to 32.1 per cent for the SNP, and a turgid 14.2 per cent for Labour.
The Liberal Democrats were even further behind on 4.9 per cent, with the Greens worse still on 4.7 per cent.
The trends also show huge improvements in Scottish Conservative fortunes, with a positive swing of almost five percent in terms of vote share, by far the highest of all parties.
Policy co-odinator Donald Cameron said the results showed Scotland was ready to elect Ruth Davidson as First Minister in 2021.
Scottish Conservative policy co-ordinator Donald Cameron said:
“This isn’t based on opinion surveys or voter intentions – these are actual votes cast in actual elections.
“They show Ruth Davidson’s Scottish Conservatives were the most popular party in Scotland, and that leaves us in good shape to make her First Minister in 2021.
“The results across 2018 also prove again it’s a two-horse race.
“Labour are way back, and completely incapable of standing up to the nationalists.
“It’s also proof that the Holyrood election wasn’t a flash in the pan.
“Scots are now putting their faith in Ruth Davidson’s Scottish Conservatives to prioritise Scotland’s place in the UK and take on the SNP.”