Douglas Ross has "more chance of winning the lottery" than becoming First Minister of Scotland, a senior SNP MSP has said.

The Scottish Conservative leader said on Sunday that he was "in it to win it" in the Holyrood election, despite his party lagging behind the SNP in the polls.

When asked if he believes that he can be the next First Minister of Scotland, Ross said: “I’ve said many times that I’m in this to win this, it’s absolutely vital that I do everything that I can to ensure the Scottish Conservative policies that I’m developing, our team are bringing forward, that I think can really make a difference to people right across Scotland have every opportunity to be enacted.

READ MORE: Douglas Ross delivers alternative vision for the country at Scottish Conservative Party conference

“So, I’m in it to win it.”

The most recent poll from Panelbase earlier this month put the Tories in second place among decided voters with 20% in the regional vote and 21% in constituencies compared to the 46% and 53% for the SNP.

In response to the Tory leader's comments, George Adam, the SNP's chief whip in Holyrood, said Ross "can't even convince himself" that he could become the next FM.

He said: “Douglas Ross trots out gameshow slogans like ‘in it to win it’ but he knows he has more chance of winning the lottery than becoming First Minister.

HeraldScotland: MSP George Adam

“He can’t even convince himself. On Friday night he was begging those other no-hopers, Scottish Labour, to help him.

“We’ve all grown accustomed to this denial of reality from Scottish Tory leaders. Jackson Carlaw claimed the same but he only lasted five months before his party binned him.

READ MORE: Ruth Davidson insists there is 'no one she's prouder to serve' than Douglas Ross

“Baroness Ruth Davidson pretended she had FM ambitions for eight years before she caved in and decided to abandon Holyrood for a cushy seat in the unelected Lords.

“And at the ballot box this May, Douglas Ross will also be left in no doubt that Scotland will never trust Tories but they do trust the SNP to deliver for Scotland.”