THE Scottish Tories have again turned to former leader Ruth Davidson for help as they enter the final stretch of the local election campaign trailing in the polls.

Douglas Ross’s predecessor will today urge pro-UK voters to hold the SNP to account on May 5.

Baroness Davidson, who stood down as Scottish leader in 2019, will say that the SNP must not be “rewarded for failure”.

Ms Davidson, who campaigned with Mr Ross last month, returns to the stump comes as polls continue to suggest the Tories will slip into third place behind Labour.

A panelbase poll for the Sunday Times put Mr Ross’s party on 21 per cent of decided voters, compared to 24% for Labour and a whopping 42% for the SNP.

The Tory press release about Ms Davidson did not mention Mr Ross, although he will accompany her.

Strathclyde University’s Professor Sir John Curtice said the findings suggested the Conservatives faced a “serious challenge” from Labour to their position as Scotland’s second-largest party.

“Such an outcome would only exacerbate the political fragmentation and division on the pro-Union side of Scotland’s constitutional debate,” he said.

However he also said it was “far from certain” that the SNP would improve significantly on their 2017 council election result, despite the party hoping to demonstrate momentum for Indyref2.

Ms Davidson said the SNP were increasingly “complacent and arrogant” and that Nicola Sturgeon was “treating the Scottish public as fools” over the CalMac ferries fiasco and other scandals over 15 years.

The former Scottish Tory leader said: “The failing record of Nicola Sturgeon and her candidates is on the ballot paper this Thursday.

“They’ve left Glasgow filthier than ever before. They’ve left drug deaths to spiral in Dundee. They’ve got plans to make it unbelievably expensive to drive to work in our capital city.

“Don’t reward the SNP for failure. Get out to the polls on Thursday and teach them a lesson.

“Scotland is worse off now than when the SNP came to power. They’re dragging our country down every year that they run our councils and our government.

“Yet the SNP are more arrogant and complacent than ever before.

“The ferries scandal shows that Nicola Sturgeon thinks she can get away with treating the Scottish public as fools.

“On Thursday, hold the SNP to account for taking their eye off the ball. Vote Scottish Conservative for local action on local issues.”

Campaigning in Edinburgh yesterday, Ms Sturgeon said Ms Davidson’s return to the frontline spoke volumes about the state of the Scottish Tories.

She said: “You have a member of the unelected House of Lords out replacing their elected leader.

“I think Douglas’s judgments over the past few weeks [over Boris Johnson] have said that at best he’s been pretty naive and at worst opportunistic and lacking in any principle and consistency.”