Scottish Tory leadership candidate Michelle Ballantyne has said the party needs to reach out to new voters to win the Holyrood election in 2021.

In a video published on her Twitter account, Ms Ballantyne talked up her credentials outside of politics as a nurse, businesswoman and charity boss in a bid to win over members.

The South Scotland MSP, who is currently the party’s social security spokeswoman, is running against Jackson Carlaw, who served as interim leader following the resignation of Ruth Davidson in August.

READ MORE: Michelle Ballantyne: I want Scottish Tories to lead a blue-collar revolution 

Mr Carlaw is regarded as the front runner in the contest, with Ms Ballantyne saying in her campaign announcement in the Daily Telegraph that a coronation would not present “the best outcome”.

Ms Ballantyne’s tweet said: “To win in 2021, we must reach out to people who have not voted @ScotTories before.”

In the video, she said: “I want you to join me so we can attract people who’ve never voted for the Conservatives before because we can make a difference for them.

“I think it’s time that we had a real change, a real connection with the front lines of everyday people.

“I have been a nurse. I have managed services in the NHS. I have set up a successful business that now provides stable employment and I’ve run third sector charities, and I’ve done all this while raising a large family.

“I am just like you. I’ve walked a mile in your shoes.”

READ MORE: Michelle Ballantyne confirms Scottish Tory leadership bid 

Ms Ballantyne urged members to “join me” adding: “Let’s move forward, let’s beat Nicola Sturgeon and let’s offer a real future for everybody in Scotland.”

Writing in the Herald on Saturday, Ms Ballantyne said there needed to be a “truly aspirational blue-collar policy offering” from her party, insisting “change is needed”.

Both candidates announced their intention to stand last week, with other hopefuls able to enter the race until Friday.

General Election 2019Jackson Carlaw is seen as the frontrunner in the contest, having secured support from at least 23 MSPs at Holyrood (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Candidates must first gain the support of at least 100 members before being able to run.

Frontbenchers Liam Kerr, Annie Wells and Rachael Hamilton are among the at least 23 MSPs of the party’s 31 at Holyrood to have voiced their support for Jackson Carlaw.

Ms Ballantyne has not yet received public support from any representatives at Holyrood, however former MP Ross Thomson was among the members to nominate her.

The hunt for a successor to Ruth Davidson was postponed last year when Prime Minister Boris Johnson called a snap election for December, resulting in the loss of seven seats by the Tories north of the border.