RUTH Davidson and Michael Gove are teaming up to front the creation of an “ideas factory” to attract the votes of the under-45s at the next General Election in a bid to outmanoeuvre Jeremy Corbyn’s appeal to younger voters.

The Scottish Conservative Leader and the Environment Secretary are to front the launch of Onward, a think-tank, aimed at creating “retail policies” to a younger generation of voters, who abandoned the Tories at the last election.

The move echoes En Marche!, the movement that swept Emmanuel Macron to power in France, and the pairing of Ms Davidson and Mr Gove is already being seen as a possible Scottish alliance that could be formed once Theresa May stands down from Downing Street; the implication being that the Secretary of State still has his eyes on the prize of being the next Prime Minister.

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Ms Davidson, still under 40, was a leading Remainer and is regarded by the Conservative Establishment as having a great appeal to younger voters, particularly millennials; she helped secure 12 Westminster seats at last year’s General Election.

Many within the party would like to see her succeed Mrs May but the Edinburgh MSP has made clear she has no intention of abandoning the political fight in Scotland to be the next First Minister in 2021.

Mr Gove, the Surrey MP, is a leading Brexiteer, and is seen as one of the most energetic of Cabinet ministers, having already pushed through and proposed a number of headline policies in his environment brief.

The two Scots, who most recently joined forces in the row over post Brexit fishing rights, are regarded as among the most dynamic politicians of their generation.

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Onward was conceived last autumn over dinner at the Mayfair home of David Meller, a Conservative donor, which considered the funding of a “new organisation to devise policies that can help May restore the party’s fortunes and present a future leader with options".

The think-tank, which has the backing of Gavin Barwell, the PM’s Chief of Staff, will draw up policies aimed at bolstering the Conservative Government and will feed into the Tory manifesto for the 2022 election.

Will Tanner, a former aide to Mrs May, is Onward’s director. It will launch on May 21 - after what are expected to be poor local election results for the Conservatives – and will include speeches by Ms Davidson and Mr Gove. Invitations are due to go out this week.

“We hope to be an ideas factory for the centre Right and reach out to new groups that in the present climate the Conservative Party isn’t very good at talking to,” declared Mr Tanner.

“We’re a modernising, one-nation organisation. We believe in the value of markets but also the good that government can do.

“We want to come up with ideas that can be sold to the public and will be popular. This is not some exercise in highfalutin theory. We want to come up with crunchy retail politics that appeal to the young, which means the under-45s, not just the under-25s,” he added.

The launch of Onward follows that in March of the Freer campaign, which is being developed by so called “rust-belt Tories” with seats in Scotland and the north of England, aimed at appealing directly to the under-25s. It is being led by another Scottish Conservative, Luke Graham, the MP for Ochil and South Perthshire.

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Onward’s first policy ideas will cover issues such as housing, job security and the cost of living.

A raft of Tory MPs are supporting it, including Tom Tugendhat, who chairs the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, John Lamont, the Scottish Conservative backbencher, Neil O’Brien, the Leicestershire MP, who worked as a special adviser to both Mrs May and David Cameron, and Kemi Badenoch and Ben Bradley, who are party vice-chairmen.

Lord Finkelstein, a close associate of George Osborne, the former chancellor, will chair the think-tank’s board.