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Page last updated at 19:26 GMT, Sunday, 16 October 2011 20:26 UK

Can they ever win again?

Scottish parliament
Only fifteen Conservative MSPs were elected to the Scottish Parliament in May.

What's in a name? Quite a lot if you believe that the very word 'Conservative' provokes a hostile reaction even amongst voters who are, well, 'Conservative.'

Murdo Fraser, one of four candidates in the contest to elect a new leader of the Scottish Conservatives, believes the party north of the Border has little chance of regaining lost popularity unless it abolishes itself. From the ashes of the old party would rise a new centre right party which people of a conservative disposition in Scotland would feel more inclined to vote for.

The other three candidates in the leadership contest, Jackson Carlaw, Ruth Davidson and Margaret Mitchell, are completely opposed to the idea. All very exciting for the party members who for the first time ever are electing the leader of the Scottish Conservatives.

John Beesley has been talking to the candidates - and to keen observers of Scottish politics. He begins his report in Glasgow.

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