ALEX Salmond has dismissed as a “vainglorious boast” the assertion that the Tories could steal his Gordon seat in the General Election on June 8.

The former first minister and SNP leader challenged the party’s Scottish leader Ruth Davidson to “bring it on”, saying efforts to unseat him had failed in the previous nine elections.

After chalking up a number of wins in the local council elections, the Tories have been eyeing a number of high-profile seats and Davidson has specifically named Gordon as a target.

Speaking earlier on the campaign trail in Gordon, Davidson said: “We won the local government election in Gordon this week, beating the SNP into second place.

“It means that in this seat, as in many others, it is a two-horse race between us and the Nationalists.”

Analysis of the results in the two councils that make up Gordon — six wards in Aberdeenshire and two in the City of Aberdeen — show that while the Conservatives got most first-preference votes in those eight wards, they actually won fewer council seats than the SNP.

The SNP won 11 seats against the nine seats won by the Tories, and in the first-past-the-post General Election, polling experts are predicting that Salmond will comfortably hold Gordon, where his majority in 2015 over Liberal Democrat opponent Christine Jardine was 8,687.

Tory Colin Clark was more than 20,000 votes behind Salmond in third, and while his party have done well in recent elections, it would require a spectacular collapse in the SNP vote for him to win.

Salmond yesterday told Sky News: “I’m quite pleased for two reasons that Ruth Davidson has made this vainglorious boast about sweeping the country and winning Gordon.

“It means, firstly, folk of the northeast of Scotland don’t like that sort of thing. They like people talking after the match, not before the match.

Secondly, the Tories have said they are going to unseat me at the previous nine elections and have failed nine times. As they concentrate the resources in Scotland in Gordon, it will allow SNP candidates to win across the rest of the country.

“Some famous words that were once used to me by one famous opposition leader, let me say to Ruth Davidson: ‘Bring it on’.”