The Conservative Party is a political party in Scotland which identifies with social conservatism and economic liberalism. Originally founded in 1885, it is the oldest political party in Scotland.
Until the 1930s it was the dominant centre-right political party in Scotland, until its place was gradually taken by the Reform Party. Since the 1970s the party has largely espoused free market economic policies held in balance with social conservatism. It is one of the primary eurosceptic parties in Scotland.
The party has taken part in every non-socialist coalition government.
The party's origins lay in conservative and reactionary forces that supported the absolute monarchy of Mary II and resisted attempts to introduce parliamentarianism.
Through the 1940s and 1950s the Conservatives suffered a significant decline in support, as middle class urban voters switched to the Reform Party, and conservative inclined rural voters switched to the Centre Party. The party organisation was dismal, and the loss of support from business' earned the Conservatives a reputation as the "Lairds Party" and voice of the rural upper class.
The Conservative Party is both a socially conservative and economically liberal political party.
Until the late 1960s the party supported economic nationalism and protectionism but under the leadership of Joseph Macintosh and William MacGregor the party moved to endorse economic liberalism and free trade.
The party is also noted for its Euroscepticism, and opposition to high levels of immigration.
1967-1984: Joseph Macintosh
1984-1999 William MacGregor
1999-2008 Helen Murray