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Institutions and Public Administration: Europe
Conservative and Unionist Party
Britain's oldest political party evolved as the successor to the Tory Party in the 1830's. The party includes as tenets of conservatism the continuance of monarchial parliamentary government.
Beginning about 1830, the name Conservative was applied to the direct descendants of the old Tory Party. In common use "Conservative" never entirely superseded "Tory," the two terms existing side by side and being treated as synonymous. With the secession of the Liberal Unionists from the Liberal Party in 1886 over Gladstone's proposal of Home Rule for Ireland, the term "Unionist" also came into use, first applying to both Conservative and Liberal Unionist parties and later, as the distinction between these disappeared, as a further name, particularly favored in Scotland and Northern Ireland, for the party as a whole.
Party organization developed directly from the constitutional or conservative associations established throughout the country after the Reform Act of 1832. The National Union of Conservative and Constitutional Associations formed a confederation in 1867 in alliance with the central office and the party whips. From this grew the National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations, with its constituency organizations grouped in 12 areas at mid-20th century, and separate bodies for Scotland and Northern Ireland.
This page was last updated on 02/03/2017.