The Conservative Party were founded from the Tory Party in 1834. This is why they are often referred to as the Tories today. The party has been one of the two dominant parties since the early 19th Century. Originally their main rivals were the Liberal Party, then with the introduction of universal suffrage in the 20th Century, the Labour Party emerged as their main rivals.
There have been some well-known political figures who were members of the Conservative party, such as Benjamin Disraeli, Neville Chamberlain, Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher.
A highlight of the early history of the Conservative party was the rivalry between the Conservative Benjamin Disraeli and the Liberal William Gladstone. These two political giants were on opposite sides of the Commons for most of the late 19th Century. Disraeli is notable as the only Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Jewish Birth.
Probably one of the most recognisable names in British Politics is Winston Churchill. Churchill took over as Prime Minister of the UK from Neville Chamberlain in May 1940, but only the leadership of the Conservative party in the October, as the country was at War with Nazi Germany. Churchill went on to lead the UK throughout the Second World War, and also secured a second term as PM from 1951-1955.
Later in the 20th Century, Margaret Thatcher became the party’s first female leader in 1975, and subsequently the first, and only female Prime Minster of the United Kingdom in 1979. The party under Thatcher’s leadership saw a surge in popularity after two terms of Labour government. This period in British history has many notable milestones such as the miner’s strike, Falkland’s War and increase in the troubles in Northern Ireland. Thatcher resigned as leader of the Conservatives and Prime Minister in November 1990, being replaced by her Chancellor John Major.
David Cameron took over the leadership of the party in 2005 and continues to lead the party to this day.
Leader – David Cameron MP (Current Prime Minister)
David Cameron has been the leader of the Conservative party since 2005, replacing Michael Howard, and is the current Prime Minister after replacing the former Labour Leader Gordon Brown. Cameron is also the MP for Witney in Oxfordshire.
He attended Oxford University studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE). Before becoming an MP, Mr Cameron worked for the Conservative party in an advisory role throughout the 90’s.
Quick Facts about David Cameron MP:
– He supports Aston Villa Football Club
– He is a distant relative of King William IV
– If he could take one song with him on a desert island it would be Bob Dylan – Tangled Up In Blue
Party Colours – Blue
302 seats in Commons. 293 seats in Lords. The Conservatives are currently the single largest party in the House of Commons and are ruling the coalition government alongside the Liberal Democrats.
Main manifesto policies as set out by the Conservative Party:
– “Strong Leadership, A Clear Economic Plan. A Brighter, More Secure Future”
– An Economic Plan To Help You And Your Family
– Jobs For All
– Cutting Your Taxes, Making Welfare Fairer And Controlling Immigration
– The Best Schools And Hospitals For You And Your Family
– Securing Your Home And Your Neighbourhood
– Dignity In Your Retirement
– Keeping Our Country Secure