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Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Pàrtaidh Tòraidheach agus Aonaidheach na h-Alba (Scottish Gaelic)
Scots Tory an Unionist Pairty (Scots)
LeaderDouglas Ross
Deputy leaderMeghan Gallacher
ChairmanCraig Hoy
Deputy ChairwomanPam Gosal
Founded1965 (1965)
Headquarters67 Northumberland Street, Edinburgh
Youth wingScottish Young Conservatives
Political positionCentre-right[3][4] to right-wing[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12]
National affiliationConservatives
Slogan"Scotland's real alternative"
House of Commons (Scottish seats)
7 / 59
Scottish Parliament
31 / 129
Local government in Scotland[13]
209 / 1,226

The Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party (Scottish Gaelic: Pàrtaidh Tòraidheach na h-Alba, Scots: Scots Tory an Unionist Pairty, often known simply as the Scottish Conservatives and colloquially as the Scottish Tories)[14] is part of the UK Conservative Party active in Scotland. It is a centre right party. The party holds 7 out of the 59 Scottish seats in the House of Commons and 31 of the 129 seats in the Scottish Parliament. It has 209 local councillors of 1,227.

Douglas Ross is the leader of the Scottish Conservatives. He replaced Jackson Carlaw, who briefly served from February to July 2020; Carlaw had in turn taken over from Ruth Davidson, who held the post from 2011 to 2019. The Scottish party has no separate Chief Whip at Westminster.

In the 2017 UK general election, the party increased its number of MPs to 13 on 28.6 percent of the popular vote – its best performance since 1983 and in terms of votes since 1979 – but it fell back to six Westminster seats in 2019. In the 2016 election for the Scottish Parliament the Scottish Conservatives gained 16 seats, making it the largest opposition party, with 31 of 129 seats. In the 2021 election for the Scottish Parliament the Scottish Conservatives maintained 31 seats and remained the largest opposition party.


Scottish Conservatism pre-1912

Before 1912, the Conservative Party operated in Scotland. With the emergence of mass party political groups in the second half of the 19th century, distinct organisations emerged in Scotland. The voluntary party organisation, the National Union of Conservative Associations for Scotland (mirroring the National Union of Conservative Associations), emerged in 1882, creating a distinct Conservative conference in Scotland.[15]

A previous organisation, the Scottish National Constitutional Association, existed from 1867, with the patronage of UK party leader Benjamin Disraeli. The Scotsman newspaper reported that following the 1874 election "Conservative Clubs and Working Men's Conservative Associations have spring up like mushrooms in all parts of [Scotland]".[16]

From the Representation of the People Act 1884 until 1918, the Liberal Party was the dominant political force in Scotland, operating in a largely two-party system with the Scottish Conservatives. In 1886, the Liberal Unionists had broken away from the Liberal Party in opposition to William Gladstone's proposals for Irish Home Rule. Joint Liberal Unionist and Conservative candidates were run across the United Kingdom, but with the organisations of these parties remaining separate.

The Unionist Party (1912–1965)

Logo of the Scottish Unionist Association

Main article: Unionist Party (Scotland)

Following the merger of the Conservatives and Liberal Unionists to create the modern Conservative and Unionist Party in England and Wales, a committee was formed of the National Union of Conservative Associations for Scotland and regional Liberal Unionist associations which recommended a merger in Scotland. This was agreed in December 1912, creating the Scottish Unionist Association and the Unionist Party.[17]

From 1918 and through the 1920s, the Labour Party became more prominent, displacing the Liberals as one of the two main parties in Scottish politics. The Unionist Party had a number of electoral successes, topping the poll in Scotland in a number of elections from the 1930s to 1950s. During the period of its existence, the Unionist Party produced two Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom – Bonar Law and Alec Douglas-Home – and uniquely among parties in the post-war period, achieved more than half of the popular vote within Scotland in the 1931 general election and 1955 general election. The majority of the vote achieved in these two General Elections was combined with the National Liberal Party who later merged with the Conservative and Unionist Party in 1968 alongside the Unionist Party which had already merged into the Conservative and Unionist Party in 1965.

While taking the Conservative whip in the House of Commons, the Unionist Party had a lengthy "unionist-nationalist" tradition, emphasising its Scottish identity within the United Kingdom and the British Empire. This was represented by elected members such as John Buchan (who said "I believe every Scotsman should be a Scottish nationalist") [18] and those former Unionists who in 1932 founded the pro-home rule Scottish Party (which later merged with the National Party of Scotland to form the Scottish National Party).

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Following a decline in performance, coming second to the Labour Party in seats through first in votes at the 1959 general election and both votes and seats at the 1964 general election, the Unionist Party proposed a number of reforms which involved amalgamation with the Conservative and Unionist Party in England and Wales – taking place in 1965. The modern Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, as part of the wider UK Conservative Party, came into existence from this point.[19]

However its electoral fortunes continued to decline throughout the 1960s. Following Harold Wilson's failure to obtain a Labour majority in February 1974, a second general election was held in October of the same year which saw the party decline to below 25% of the vote and drop from 21 seats to 16. At the same time, the SNP were to gain an unprecedented 11 MPs, unseating a number of Conservative MPs in rural constituencies.

The party's fortunes recovered somewhat in 1979 under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher, but her tenure as Prime Minister was to see the party's fortunes drop further from holding 22 seats in 1979 to 10 in 1987. The party increased its share of the vote and number of MPs to 11 in 1992 under John Major's leadership before dropping to 17.5% of the popular vote and failing to have any MPs returned from Scotland in 1997. It continued to return only a single MP from Scottish constituencies at the 2001, 2005, 2010 and 2015 general elections, before winning 13 seats in 2017.

Following the 2010 general election performance, the party commissioned a review under Lord Sanderson of Bowden to consider the party's future organisation. The Sanderson Commission's report recommended a single Scottish leader (replacing a leader of the Scottish Parliamentary group), reforms to governance and constituency structures, the creation of regional campaigning centres, greater focus on policy development and a new membership and fundraising drive.[20]

Scottish devolution

Former logo of the Scottish Conservatives, used until 2006

The party's commitments to a devolved Scottish Assembly were to decline under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher. Previously the party had offered some support for a Scottish Assembly, including in the so-called Declaration of Perth in 1968 under UK party leader Edward Heath. John Major, while endorsing further powers for the Scottish Grand Committee and the Scottish Office did not support a devolved parliament. With the Labour Party's victory in 1997, referendums on devolution were organised in Scotland and Wales, both receiving agreement that devolved legislatures should be formed.

In 1999, the first elections to a devolved Scottish Parliament were held. Following the Conservatives electoral wipe-out in Scotland in 1997, devolution provided the party with a number of parliamentary representatives in Scotland. Less than a year following the first Scottish Parliament election, a 2000 by-election was held in the Ayr constituency with John Scott winning the seat from Labour.

In the party leadership elections in 2011, the previous deputy leader Murdo Fraser proposed disbanding the party and creating a new Scottish party of the centre-right, similar to the previous Unionist Party and compared this arrangement to the relationship between the Christian Social Union in Bavaria and the Christian Democratic Union in Germany. The move was opposed by the other three candidates.[21][22] Victory went to the newly elected MSP Ruth Davidson who suggested that she would oppose further devolution beyond the new powers proposed by the Calman Commission.

The party was one of the three main Scottish political parties to join in the Better Together campaign opposing Scotland becoming independent in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. Although a Conservative majority government was returned in Westminster in the 2015 general election, David Mundell remained their only MP elected in Scotland and was appointed Secretary of State for Scotland. He replaced Liberal Democrat incumbents who served during the 2010–15 Coalition government. The UK Government set about implementing the recommendations of the cross-party Smith Commission.

Recent elections

2011 Scottish Parliament election

Annabel Goldie led the party into the 2011 Scottish Parliament election, having successfully campaigned in budget negotiations with the minority SNP Scottish Government for a number of concessions over the 2007–11 Scottish Parliament. This had resulted in commitments to 1,000 extra police officers, four-year council tax freeze and £60m town regeneration fund.[23]

With an SNP majority delivered, the Scottish Conservatives were reduced from 17 seats to 15, losing the Edinburgh Pentlands constituency to the SNP, seeing notional loses in Eastwood and Dumfriesshire to Labour. Following the election, Annabel Goldie resigned as leader and a leadership election was held in November 2011 – the first to appoint a Leader of the Scottish Conservatives, rather than the Scottish Parliament group, as required by the Sanderson Commission. Ruth Davidson was returned, beating the original front-runner and former deputy leader Murdo Fraser.

Davidson drove forward a number of the Sanderson Commission's reforms, including replacing the party's Banyan (or Indian Fig) tree logo with a "union saltire".

2015 UK general election

The Conservatives made little advance at the 2015 UK general election compared to 2010, with Scotland's sole Conservative MP David Mundell holding on to his Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale constituency with a reduced majority of just 798 votes ahead of the SNP's Emma Harper. The Conservatives made no seat gains at the election in Scotland, with Conservative targets such as Argyll and Bute; West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine and Angus being won by the Scottish National Party with an increased majority compared to 2010. In spite of this, the Conservatives narrowly missed out on having 2 MP's elected in Scotland, missing out in the Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk constituency by only 328 votes behind the SNP's Calum Kerr: this was the most marginal result in Scotland and the eighth most marginal result in the United Kingdom.

2016 Scottish Parliament election

Conservative share of the constituency vote by constituency in the 2016 election.

At the 2016 Scottish Parliament election, the Scottish Conservative campaign focused on providing strong opposition to the SNP government in Scotland, opposing calls for a second referendum on Scottish independence. The party manifesto focused on freezing business tax rates to promote economic growth and greater employment opportunities; investing in mental health treatment over the course of the next parliament; a commitment to building 100,000 affordable homes within 5 years and a re-introduction of the Right to Buy scheme in Scotland.[24] The Scottish Conservatives were the only major party in Scotland to oppose higher taxes to the rest of the United Kingdom during the campaign as tax reductions came in force across the rest of the UK which were opposed by the SNP, Labour and Liberal Democrats.[25]

At the election the party saw major gains, particularly on the regional list vote. The Conservatives doubled their representation in the Scottish Parliament by taking 31 seats (compared to 15 in 2011), making them the leading opposition party in the Scottish Parliament ahead of Scottish Labour. On the constituency element of the vote the Conservatives held on to their three first past the post constituency seats (Ayr; Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire and Galloway and West Dumfries), making gains in Aberdeenshire West; Dumfriesshire; Eastwood and Edinburgh Central, where party leader Ruth Davidson stood for election. This marked the party's best electoral performance in Scotland since the 1992 UK general election.

2017 UK general election

Conservative share of the vote by constituency in the 2017 election.

Campaigning in opposition to proposals put forward by Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Parliament for a second referendum on Scottish independence to be held following the United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union in a referendum held in 2016 which was not supported by a majority of Scottish voters, the Scottish Conservatives had their best ever election in Scotland in seat terms since 1983 at the 2017 general election. The Conservatives gained 12 MP's in Scotland to give them 13 in total. The party had their largest vote share in a general election in Scotland since 1979, taking a total of 757,949 votes (28.6%) in Scotland.

David Mundell held on to his Dumfrieesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale seat with an increased majority of 9,441 votes (19.3%). The party also gained the Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock; Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk; and Dumfries and Galloway constituencies to the south of the country, and gained East Renfrewshire on the outskirts of Glasgow.

The Conservatives also took a majority of seats in the North East of Scotland, gaining former First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond's Gordon constituency, alongside Moray, the seat of the SNP's Westminster leader Angus Robertson. Other gains for the party in the North East included Aberdeen South; Angus; Banff and Buchan; and West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine. The party took the Ochil and South Perthshire; and Stirling constituencies in central Scotland and missed out to the SNP in Perth and North Perthshire by just 21 votes.

2019 European elections

The Scottish Conservatives retained their single seat in the European Parliament at the 2019 European Parliament election. Incumbent MEP Nosheena Mobarik was reelected.[26]

2019 UK general election

On 29 August 2019, Davidson stood down citing several political and personal reasons for her decision to resign as leader.[27][28]

The Scottish Conservatives lost more than half of their seats in Scotland to the Scottish National Party in the December 2019 general election, with a 3.5% swing away from the party.[29][30] The lost seats were Aberdeen South; Angus; Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock; East Renfrewshire; Gordon; Ochil and South Perthshire; and Stirling.

2021 Scottish Parliament election

Douglas Ross led the Scottish Conservatives into the 2021 Scottish Parliament election. The party lost two constituencies it was defending (Ayr and Edinburgh Central) to the SNP but retained the remainder of its constituency seats with an increased vote share in some which political analysts attributed in-part to tactical voting from Unionists and credited this with preventing the SNP from gaining an overall majority. The Scottish Conservatives also came close to winning Banffshire and Buchan Coast.[31] The party also saw its highest result to date on the regional list with 23.5% of the vote, while losing 0.1% in the constituency vote. The Scottish Conservatives ultimately obtained 31 seats, the same as their result in the 2016 election, and remained in opposition at Holyrood.[32][33][34]

2022 Scottish local elections

The Scottish Conservatives lost 63 seats at the 2022 Scottish local elections, shedding 5.6% of the vote and taking their total first preference vote to 19.7% in what was their worst performance electorally in nearly a decade. Some of their heaviest loses occurred in Glasgow, where their total representation went from 8 councillors to 2, and Perth & Kinross, where they lost 3 councillors and control of the council to the Scottish National Party. They also lost control of East Dunbartonshire and Angus, where they were in coalition with the Scottish Liberal Democrats, again to the Scottish National Party, who attracted a record share of the vote and councillors across Scotland.[35] Douglas Ross blamed the poor performance on Partygate, while others said his leadership was partly to blame, due to his unclear stance on whether he supported Boris Johnson remaining in office or not.

Low polling and internal rumblings

Following the 2022 local elections, the Scottish Conservatives fortunes did not turn around. Much like the UK wide Conservative Party, the party have been struggling with low polling following Boris Johnson and Liz Truss' premiership controversies, with two polls in December 2022 showing support for the party plummeting to 13%, behind Scottish Labour who were averaging 25% and the Scottish National Party averaging 50%, along with rising support for Scottish Independence.[36] Douglas Ross' leadership authority suffered due to him u-turning on a number of policies, including scrapping the 45p tax rate, which he supported then supported the scrapping of the policy. Scottish Conservative MSP's were reported to have wanted to oust him due to the low polling and multiple u-turns, but it was subsequently revealed there isn't a mechanism in place for the Scottish Conservatives to oust their leader.[37]

Some Scottish Conservatives supported Boris Johnson,[38] but Douglas Ross called on him to resign.[39]

On 12 October 2023, MP Lisa Cameron defected to the Conservatives, becoming the first elected representative to cross the floor to a unionist party from the SNP. She cited a "toxic and bullying" culture in her former party that led to her defection.[40][41]

Policies and ideology

The Scottish Conservatives are a centre-right and conservative political party, with a commitment to Scotland remaining a part of the United Kingdom. It is autonomous from the UK Conservative Party in its leadership, internal structure and the creation of policy in devolved areas. In August 2006, the-then Leader of the Conservative Party, David Cameron, said that the party should recognise "that the policies of Conservatives in Scotland and Wales will not always be the same as our policies in England" and that the "West Lothian question must be answered from a Unionist perspective".[42] Presently, the Scottish Conservatives refer to themselves as a "patriotic, unionist party of the Scottish centre-right" that stands for "Scotland’s place in the UK, equal opportunity, enterprise and growth, localism and community and the rights of victims and the police in our justice system."[43]

Although aligned to the UK-wide Conservatives, it has in certain areas adopted different policy positions. Following the Sutherland Report in 1999, the party voted with the Scottish Executive in 2002 to introduce free personal care for the elderly funded from general taxation.

Like Scottish Labour and the Scottish Liberal Democrats, the Scottish Conservatives are opposed to Scottish independence but have often been regarded as the most staunchly pro-Unionist of the three parties. Generally, the Scottish Conservatives favour a more business friendly environment in Scotland, increase funding for the police and frontline workers[citation needed], enact stricter law & order policies to tackle violent crime, drug and alcohol misuse, and give more support to Scotland's rural communities.[citation needed] The party has evolved to support Scottish devolution[citation needed] but has argued successive SNP administrations in Scotland have not made a constructive use of devolved powers to benefit ordinary people and have encouraged waste or corruption through devolution. Although opposed to policies that could further Scottish independence, the Scottish Conservatives support aspects of financial devolution and devolving more powers to local communities in Scotland.[44][failed verification][45][failed verification]

At the 2019 general election, the Scottish Conservatives pledged opposition to a proposed second Scottish independence referendum, delivering on Brexit and to strengthen the United Kingdom.[46][47] They lost half their seats at the election. In 2021, ahead of the Scottish Parliament elections, the party argued that Scotland should focus on economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.[48]

Party organisation

The Party is governed by a Party Management Board convened by the Party Chairman, currently Craig Hoy MSP. The Management Board also consists of the party leader, conference convener, honorary secretary, treasurer and three regional conveners representing the north, east and west of Scotland areas. These are:

The party leader is elected by members on a one-member-one-vote basis, with the chairman appointed by the Scottish leader after consultation with the UK party leader. The Conference convener is a voluntary officer elected by members at the party's annual conference who must have been a former regional convener, and is responsible for chairing the conference and the party's convention.[49]

Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party

The position of Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party was created in 2011. The new position of Scottish party leader was created following the recommendations of the Sanderson Commission.[50] The position of leader is currently held by Douglas Ross.[51]

No. Portrait Name Term start Term end
1 Ruth Davidson 4 November 2011 29 August 2019
Jackson Carlaw was interim leader during this period
2 Jackson Carlaw 14 February 2020 30 July 2020
3 Douglas Ross 5 August 2020 Incumbent

Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party in the Scottish Parliament

The position of Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party in the Scottish Parliament was originally created in 1999 and used until 2011 when the position of Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party was created. However, as a result of Douglas Ross being appointed as Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party in August 2020 and then not being a MSP but instead being an MP within the House of Commons, Ruth Davidson took on the role of Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party in the Scottish Parliament at First Ministers Questions.

No. Portrait Name Term start Term end
1 David McLetchie 6 May 1999 31 October 2005
2 Annabel Goldie 31 October 2005 4 November 2011
3 Ruth Davidson 11 August 2020 5 May 2021

Deputy Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party

The position of Deputy Chairman of the Scottish Conservative Party was held by Jackson Carlaw from 1992 to 1998 and Annabel Goldie from 1998 until her election as leader in 2005, after which the position listed below was created. The deputy leadership position was abolished shortly after Douglas Ross was appointed Scottish Conservative leader but was reinstated following on from the Scottish Conservative's poor performance at the 2022 Scottish local elections where Meghan Gallacher was given the position.[52]

No. Portrait Name Term start Term end
1 Murdo Fraser 31 October 2005 10 November 2011
2 Jackson Carlaw 10 November 2011 3 September 2019
3 Liam Kerr 3 September 2019 12 August 2020
4 Annie Wells 14 February 2020 12 August 2020
5 Meghan Gallacher 9 May 2022 Incumbent

Central staff

The party's registered headquarters is at Scottish Conservative Central Office (SCCO), 67 Northumberland Street, Edinburgh. Between 2001 and 2010, SCCO was housed in an office on Princes Street.[53]

The party's central staff is headed by the Director of the Party, currently James Tweedie, who serves as its chief executive. There are also three campaign managers appointed to three defined regions of Scotland.

Scottish Parliament Shadow Cabinet

The front bench formulates the party's policy on issues devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

Member of the Scottish Parliament Constituency or Region First elected Current Role[54]
Douglas Ross Highlands and Islands 2021 Leader of the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party
Murdo Fraser Mid Scotland and Fife 2001 Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery
Liz Smith Mid Scotland and Fife 2007 Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Economy
Oliver Mundell Dumfriesshire 2016 Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills
Annie Wells Glasgow 2016 Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care
Jamie Greene West Scotland 2016 Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Justice
Liam Kerr North East Scotland 2016 Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport
Miles Briggs Lothian 2016 Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government
Rachael Hamilton Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire 2016 Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands
Donald Cameron Highlands and Islands 2016 Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Constitution, External Affairs and Culture
Stephen Kerr Central Scotland 2021 Chief Whip (as well as Douglas Ross' reserve for First Minister's Questions)


House of Lords

No. Name Date Ennobled
1. Earl of Caithness 1970 (Hereditary)
2. Earl Cathcart 2007 (Hereditary)
3. Baroness Davidson of Lundin Links 2021
4. Earl of Dundee 1983 (Hereditary)
5. Lord Fairfax of Cameron 2015 (Hereditary)
6. Lord Forsyth of Drumlean 1999
7. Baroness Fraser of Craigmaddie 2021
8. Lord Glenarthur 1977 (Hereditary)
9. Earl of Home 1996 (Hereditary)
10. Lord Keen of Elie 2015
11. Earl of Lindsay 1990 (Hereditary)
12. Lord Lamont of Lerwick 1998
13. Lord Livingston of Parkhead 2013
14. Lord Selkirk of Douglas 1997
15. Lord Stewart of Dirleton 2020
16. Lord Strathclyde 1986 (Hereditary)
17. Viscount Younger of Leckie 2010 (Hereditary)
18. Duke of Montrose 1995 (Hereditary)
19. Lord Offord of Garvel 2021
20. Lord Douglas-Miller 2023

Electoral performance

In 2017, the Scottish Conservatives became the second-largest political party in Scotland in terms of democratic representation in the Scottish Parliament (following the 2016 Scottish Parliament election), constituencies in Scotland in the UK House of Commons (following the 2017 snap election) and in local government in Scotland (following the 2017 local elections), finishing in second place behind the Scottish National Party and overtaking the once dominant Scottish Labour.

House of Commons

Blue indicates seats won by the Conservatives at the 2019 General Election.
Election Scotland +/–
% Seats
32 / 45
33 / 45
Increase 1
23 / 45
Decrease 10
1832 21.0
10 / 53
Decrease 13
1835 37.2
15 / 53
Increase 5
1837 46.0
20 / 53
Increase 5
1841 38.3
20 / 53
1847 18.3
20 / 53
1852 27.4
20 / 53
1857 15.2
14 / 53
Decrease 6
1859 33.6
13 / 53
Decrease 1
1865 14.6
11 / 53
Decrease 2
1868 17.5
7 / 60
Decrease 4
1874 31.6
20 / 60
Increase 13
1880 29.9
8 / 60
Decrease 12
1885 34.3
10 / 72
Increase 2
1886 46.4
29 / 72
Increase 19
1892 44.4
21 / 72
Decrease 8
1895 47.4
33 / 72
Increase 12
1900 49.0
38 / 72
Increase 5
1906 38.2
12 / 72
Decrease 26
Jan 1910 39.6
11 / 72
Decrease 1
Dec 1910 42.6
12 / 72
Increase 1
1918 32.8
32 / 74
Increase 20
1922 25.1
15 / 74
Decrease 17
1923 31.6
16 / 74
Increase 1
1924 40.7
38 / 74
Increase 22
1929 35.9
22 / 74
Decrease 16
1931 54.4
50 / 74
Increase 28
1935 48.7
35 / 72
Decrease 15
1945 40.3
27 / 72
Decrease 8
1950 44.8
31 / 70
Increase 4
1951 48.6
35 / 72
Increase 4
1955 50.1
36 / 72
Increase 1
1959 47.3
31 / 72
Decrease 5
1964 40.6
24 / 72
Decrease 7
1966 37.7
20 / 72
Decrease 4
1970 38.0
23 / 72
Increase 3
Feb 1974 32.9
21 / 72
Decrease 2
Oct 1974 24.7
16 / 72
Decrease 5
1979 31.4
22 / 72
Increase 6
1983 28.4
21 / 72
Decrease 1
1987 24.0
10 / 72
Decrease 11
1992 25.6
11 / 72
Increase 1
1997 17.5
0 / 72
Decrease 11
2001 15.6
1 / 72
Increase 1
2005 15.8
1 / 59
2010 16.7
1 / 59
2015 14.9
1 / 59
2017 28.6
13 / 59
Increase 12
2019 25.1
6 / 59
Decrease 7

Scottish Parliament

Blue indicates seats won by the Conservatives in the 2021 Scottish Parliament election.
Election Constituency Regional Total seats +/– Rank Government
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats
1999 364,425 15.6
0 / 73
359,109 15.3
18 / 56
18 / 129
Steady Steady 3rd Opposition
2003 318,279 16.6
3 / 73
296,929 15.5
15 / 56
18 / 129
Steady Steady 3rd Opposition
2007 334,743 16.6
4 / 73
284,035 13.9
13 / 56
17 / 129
Decrease 1 Steady 3rd Opposition
2011 276,652 13.9
3 / 73
245,967 12.4
12 / 56
15 / 129
Decrease 2 Steady 3rd Opposition
2016 501,844 22.0
7 / 73
524,222 22.9
24 / 56
31 / 129
Increase 16 Increase 2nd Opposition
2021 592,526 21.9
5 / 73
637,131 23.5
26 / 56
31 / 129
Steady Steady 2nd Opposition

Local councils

2017 local election results in Scotland where blue represents Conservative.
Election % Councillors +/–
1995 11.5
82 / 1,155
1999 13.5
108 / 1,222
Increase 26
2003 15.1
122 / 1,222
Increase 14
2007 15.6
143 / 1,222
Increase 21
2012 13.3
115 / 1,222
Decrease 28
2017 25.3
276 / 1,227
Increase 161
2022 19.7
214 / 1,227
Decrease 63

District councils

Election % Councillors +/–
1974 26.8
241 / 1,110
1977 27.2
259 / 1,107
Increase 18
1980 24.1
232 / 1,182
Decrease 27
1984 21.4
189 / 1,182
Decrease 43
1988 19.4
162 / 1,182
Decrease 27
1992 23.2
204 / 1,158
Increase 52

Regional councils

Election % Councillors +/–
1974 28.6
112 / 432
1978 30.3
121 / 432
Increase 9
1982 25.1
119 / 441
Decrease 2
1986 16.9
65 / 524
Decrease 54
1990 19.2
52 / 524
Decrease 13
1994 19.2
31 / 453
Decrease 21

European Parliament

Election Scotland +/–
% Seats
1979 33.7
5 / 8
1984 25.8
2 / 8
Decrease 3
1989 20.9
1 / 8
Decrease 1
1994 14.5
0 / 8
Decrease 1
1999 19.8
2 / 8
Increase 2
2004 17.8
2 / 7
2009 16.8
1 / 6
Decrease 1
2014 17.2
1 / 6
2019 11.6
1 / 6

See also


  1. ^ Nordsieck, Wolfram (2016). "Scotland/UK". Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Conservative Party - History, Facts, Policy, & Structure". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  3. ^ Scotland Business Law Handbook: Strategic Information and Laws. Int'l Business Publications. 1 January 2012. pp. 29–. ISBN 978-1-4387-7095-6.
  4. ^ Eve Hepburn (2010). Using Europe: Territorial Party Strategies in a Multi-level System. Oxford University Press. p. 228. ISBN 978-0-7190-8138-5.
  5. ^ Saini, Rima; Bankole, Michael; Begum, Neema (April 2023). "The 2022 Conservative Leadership Campaign and Post-racial Gatekeeping". Race & Class: 1–20. doi:10.1177/03063968231164599. ...the Conservative Party's history in incorporating ethnic minorities, and the recent post-racial turn within the party whereby increasing party diversity has coincided with an increasing turn to the Right
  6. ^ Bale, Tim (March 2023). The Conservative Party After Brexit: Turmoil and Transformation. Cambridge: Polity. pp. vi–x, passim. ISBN 9781509546015. Retrieved 12 September 2023.
  7. ^ de Geus, Roosmarijn A.; Shorrocks, Rosalind (2022). "Where Do Female Conservatives Stand? A Cross-National Analysis of the Issue Positions and Ideological Placement of Female Right-Wing Candidates". In Och, Malliga; Shames, Shauna; Cooperman, Rosalyn (eds.). Sell-Outs or Warriors for Change? A Comparative Look at Conservative Women in Politics in Democracies. Abingdon/New York: Routledge. pp. 1–29. ISBN 9781032346571. right-wing parties are also increasing the presence of women within their ranks. Prominent female European leaders include Theresa May (until recently) and Angela Merkel, from the right-wing Conservative Party in the UK and the Christian Democratic Party in Germany respectively. This article examines the extent to which women in right-wing parties are similar to their male colleagues, or whether they have a set of distinctive opinions on a range of issues
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Further reading