Ruth Elizabeth Davidson is a Scottish politician who served as Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party from 2011 to 2019 and Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party in the Scottish Parliament from 2020 to 2021. She served as a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Glasgow from 2011 to 2016 and for Edinburgh Central from 2016 to 2021.
Born in Edinburgh, Davidson was raised in Selkirk and later attended Buckhaven High School in Fife. After graduating from the University of Edinburgh, she worked as a BBC journalist and served in the Territorial Army as a signaller. After leaving the BBC in 2009 to study at the University of Glasgow, she joined the Conservative Party. She was the party's candidate in the Glasgow North East constituency at a 2009 by-election and at the 2010 general election, where she was unsuccessful on both occassions.
At the 2011 Scottish Parliament election, Davidson was elected on the Glasgow regional list. Following party leader Annabel Goldie's resignation in May 2011, Davidson stood in the subsequent leadership election. She won the contest and was declared party leader on 4 November 2011. In 2016, the Conservatives replaced the Labour Party as the second-largest party in the Scottish Parliament. As Scottish Conservative leader, she was considered by some to be a potential candidate for leadership of the British Conservative Party although ruled herself out of running for the position.
Davidson resigned the leadership in August 2019, shortly after Boris Johnson became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. She was succeeded by her deputy leader of eight years, Jackson Carlaw who was in turn replaced by Douglas Ross. Davidson led the party in Holyrood for the remainder of the 2016–2021 Parliament. At the 2021 Scottish Parliament election, Davidson stood down as an MSP in preparation to enter the House of Lords and become a life peer.