Search results

Devolution and party change in Scotland and Wales
Author: Alan Convery

This book is the first detailed examination of the Conservative Party beyond the centre after devolution. The Scottish and Welsh Conservative Parties both started out in 1999 with no MPs and a difficult inheritance. They had also both stridently campaigned against devolution. However, since then, the smaller and less autonomous Welsh Conservative Party appears to have staged a recovery, whilst its Scottish counterpart has continued to struggle. This book traces the processes of party change in both parties and explains why the Welsh Conservatives unexpectedly embraced devolution while the Scottish Conservatives took much longer to accept that Westminster was no longer the priority. In considering the drivers of party change at the sub-state level, this book finds that electoral defeat and organisational autonomy mattered less here than we might expect. Although the Welsh Conservatives had less power and money, they also entered the Welsh Assembly with less baggage than the Scottish Conservatives. Renewing unionism was more difficult in Scotland because the Scottish Conservatives could see no route to holding power.

Union, England and Europe
Author: Arthur Aughey

This book focuses on the idea of the nation in Conservative Party politics. It represents an attempt to make sense of the way in which flows of sympathy from the past help to shape the changing patterns of Conservatism in the present; it does so by examining one of the party's preoccupations: its claim to be the 'national party'. The first three chapters are concerned mainly with flows of sympathy within Conservatism, the currents of which can still be traced today. The character (or political culture) of the Conservative Party is explored and the significance of the nation in its self-understanding is discussed. The book considers the interconnection of party and patriotism by revisiting one of the key texts for a previous generation, Andrew Gamble's The Conservative Nation. Andrew Gamble believed that Conservative leaders have always been uneasily aware of the fragility of the political raft upon they sail on democratic waters. The book assesses the changing influence on party competition of class and nation, especially how this influences the Conservative Party's electoral identity. It also reflects the impact on the Conservative nation of the British, English and European Questions. A postscript considers the impact of the 2017 general election and makes some final reflections on the party.

Statewide context
Alan Convery

2 The UK Conservative Party: statewide context This chapter explores the relationship between the statewide Conservative Party and Scotland and Wales. The post-1997 Conservative Party famously took a long time to realise the extent it would have to change in order to regain office (Norris and Lovenduski, 2004; Bale, 2010; Snowdon, 2010). Before going on to examine the territorial Conservative Party in detail, we will consider the wider UK context for the changes that occurred at the sub-state level. The Scottish and Welsh Conservative parties may have been

in The territorial Conservative Party
Author: Mark Pitchford

This book reveals the Conservative Party's relationship with the extreme right between 1945 and 1975. It shows how the Party, realising that its well-documented pre-Second World War connections with the extreme right were now embarrassing, used its bureaucracy to implement a policy of investigating extreme-right groups and taking action to minimise their chances of success. The book focuses on the Conservative Party's investigation of right-wing groups, and shows how its perception of their nature determined the party bureaucracy's response. It draws on extensive information from the Conservative Party Archive, supported by other sources, including interviews with leading players in the events of the 1970s. The book draws a comparison between the Conservative Party machine's negative attitude towards the extreme right and its support for progressive groups. It concludes that the Conservative Party acted as a persistent block to the external extreme right in a number of ways, and that the Party bureaucracy persistently denied the extreme right party assistance, access to funds and representation within party organisations. The book reaches a climax with the formulation of a ‘plan’ threatening its own candidate if he failed to remove the extreme right from the Conservative Monday Club.

Alan Convery

4 Devolution, party change and the Welsh Conservative Party We have parked our tanks on the nationalists’ lawns in a sense. (Interview with Conservative AM 3, 1 March 2012) Introduction This chapter applies the analytical framework outlined in Chapter 2 to the Welsh Conservative Party. It finds that the Welsh Conservatives faced similar challenges to the Scottish Conservatives in adapting to devolution. It is arguable that initially the Scottish Conservatives adapted much better to the transition from the referendum to the new institutions. However, the

in The territorial Conservative Party
Alan Convery

3 Devolution, party change and the Scottish Conservative Party Conservatism has played a long and historic role in Scottish politics and the Tory Party has deep roots in Scotland. However, many people do not realise this. (Margaret Thatcher, Foreword to The Scottish Tory Party: A History by Gerald Warner, 1988: i) Author: Would it be fair to say that the party has never really got over the 1997 referendum result? Conservative MSP: I think it is gradually getting over the referendum result. (Interview with Conservative MSP 8, 2 October 2012) Having established

in The territorial Conservative Party
Alan Convery

it was interesting how different many of their things were. I think we were always rather jealous of the fact that at that time they had, I will say a dozen, certainly something like that, working in Scottish Central Office, whereas we had four and one of those was part time. We were doing jolly well! (Interview with Conservative AM 1, 27 February 2012) Introduction Having examined party change in the cases of the Scottish and Welsh Conservative parties in detail, this chapter outlines a more focused comparison, drawing together the literature on sub-state parties

in The territorial Conservative Party
Abstract only
Alan Convery

concerned with how this question has played out in two political parties that had to adapt to substantial changes after 1997: the Scottish and Welsh Conservative parties. Reflecting on her 1979 speech to the Scottish Conservative Party conference, Margaret Thatcher remarked that, ‘Life is not easy for Scottish Tories; nor was it to become easier’ (Thatcher, 1993:  35). The Conservative Governments (1979–1997) were a particularly difficult time for the territorial Conservative Party. In Scotland and Wales, the party suffered a crisis of both popularity and legitimacy that

in The territorial Conservative Party
Alan Convery

Devolution, party politics and conservatism This book began with the puzzle of the contrasting fortunes of the Welsh and Scottish Conservative parties. Through a comparative examination of party change it sought to find out how but also, crucially, why both parties changed in the way they did after devolution. Using an analytical framework derived from the literature on party change and multi-level party politics, it explored the reactions of both parties on a series of common drivers and indicators of change. This conclusion draws together the two strands of

in The territorial Conservative Party
Rosie Campbell and Sarah Childs

11 The (feminised) contemporary Conservative Party Rosie Campbell and Sarah Childs Introduction The UK Conservative Party, since 2005, is undoubtedly a more feminised institution. The party saw significant increases in the number of Conservative women MPs returned to Westminster at the 2010 and 2015 general elections. It had established new women’s forums for policy debate among its women members, and participated in inter-­party competition for women’s votes, reflecting the interventions of key women party and parliamentary actors over the last three elections

in Rethinking right-wing women