THE Scottish Conservatives are set to get a new leader after Douglas Ross announced he would be resigning from the role after the General Election. 

Ross became leader in August 2020 despite the fact he was sitting as an MP in Westminster and not an MSP in the Scottish Parliament at the time. 

Indeed, it wasn't until the 2021 Holyrood elections that he became an MSP and vowed to stand down as an MP at the next General Election. 

Since then he has held both roles. 

READ MORE: Tory candidate set to replace Douglas Ross as Highland MSP lives in London

Yet with voters heading to the ballot box in less than a month, Ross announced he would be standing in the Aberdeenshire North and Moray East seat after the party deselected David Duguid due to ill health. 

Ross said it was "not feasible" for him to serve as an MP, MSP and leader and stated he would give up his seat in Holyrood if elected to Westminster. 

So, who is in the running to replace him? 

Russell Findlay 

The National:

In 2020, the former STV, Scottish Sun and Sunday Mail journalist was announced as Douglas Ross's director of communications. 

The following year he stood as a candidate for the Tories in the Holyrood election and was elected as an MSP for the West Scotland region via the list, after coming third in the constituency vote in Paisley. 

He currently serves as the party's justice spokesperson and will be viewed by many as a front runner in a leadership contest. 

One Conservative source told the Scottish Daily Express that Findlay was "very popular" amongst members and had an "impressive back story". 

This refers to an acid attack suffered by Findlay in 2015 while he was working as a journalist for The Scottish Sun. 

However, he has previously faced criticism for his "reckless" contributions in the Scottish Parliament. 

During a debate on the Hate Crime Act, SNP MSP Christine Grahame said Findlay "has apparently an insatiable appetite for the next tabloid banner headline with his self-indulgent, flamboyant and frequently reckless contributions here and indeed in committee".

The question is whether he has the same appetite for leadership. 

Meghan Gallacher

The National:

Gallacher became an MSP following the 2021 Holyrood elections and was appointed as deputy leader to Douglas Ross in 2022. 

She has been a particularly vocal critic of the Scottish Government's gender reform legislation and was recently criticised for "targeting" the work of the charity LGBT Youth Scotland. 

The MSP has called for the work of the charity to be reviewed after claims in the right-wing media suggested children were being exposed to age-inappropriate material despite there being no evidence that this was the case. 

She even shared an article which accused the charity of "brainwashing" children and defended her criticism by saying that her daughter has "two gay godparents". 

While seen as a rising star in the party, one source said that the current vacancy for leader may have come "too soon" as she has a two-year-old child. 

Jamie Greene 

The National:

Greene was elected as an MSP in the Scottish Parliament in 2016 and has previously served as the party's spokesperson on justice and education

However, after voting in favour of the Scottish Government's gender reform plans he was relegated by Douglas Ross to the backbenches in 2023. 

Ross claimed Greene's support of the reforms were not the reason he was axed, but Greene said he "assumed" that was the case and said he found it "disappointing". 

Since then he has kept a pretty low profile within the party but was described by one Tory insider as a "credible" choice for the leadership. 

Sandesh Gulhane 

The Tory MSP was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2021 and was almost immediately employed as the party's health spokesperson. 

A former club doctor for Queens Park Rangers, Gulhane continues to practice as a GP one day per week. 

However, while viewed as a competent performer within the party, Gulhane is also standing as a candidate in East Renfrewshire at the upcoming General Election. 

While Ross has shown that it is technically possible to serve as an MP, MSP and party leader, Gulhane's appointment would once again leave the party open to criticism about showing a lack of respect to the Scottish Parliament. 

Murdo Fraser  

The party stalwart has been an MSP since 2001 and by far has the most experience among the candidates in this list. 

But he is no stranger to losing a leadership election.

In 2011, he lost to Ruth Davidson after stating that he would sever the Scottish Conservatives from the UK party in order to "create a new progressive centre-right with a Scottish identity."

In recent months he made headlines after police recorded a "non-hate crime incident" against him after he claimed identifying as non-binary was as "valid" as identifying as a cat on X/Twitter. 

He then accused Police Scotland of being "captured by the SNP".