By Alexander Smith
in representation. The fabric outcomes of this drawback incorporated losses of monetary and different assets, legitimacy and native wisdom for the Scottish Conservatives.
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Additional info for Devolution and the Scottish Conservatives: Banal Activism, Electioneering and the Politics of Irrelevance
This kind of metaphor seemed particularly useful in accounting for the election of Peter Duncan as, then, Scotland’s only Tory MP at the 2001 general election. This electoral achievement was by far the most important for the Scottish Conservatives at the time of my fieldwork. 28 In the aftermath of the foot-and-mouth epidemic, some more-hopeful Conservatives described Mr Duncan’s victory as a ‘breakthrough’ or ‘turning point’ in local politics. However, the fact that the Labour MP for Dumfries, Russell Brown, defeated the Scottish Conservative candidate Lt Col.
Conservative strategists struggled to agree how best to respond to the changed political realities they now faced in Scotland. According to Mitchell et al. (1998), the Scottish Tories were illequipped to campaign against devolution in the months immediately following their ‘wipe-out’: The Conservatives initially decided not to run a campaign but to work under the Think Twice umbrella. This was in recognition of the harm to the campaign if it was identified with the Conservatives. The official Conservative position was to oppose both the Parliament and the tax-varying powers.
10 As Hutchison (2001: 176) notes, very little scholarship exists on the Scottish Conservatives, unlike the Scottish Labour Party and the SNP (but not, interestingly, the Liberal Democrats). 11 Although for a recent reappraisal of Margaret Thatcher’s legacy in Scotland, see Torrance (2009). 12 The Poll Tax was introduced in Scotland several months before England. This contriÂ� buted to a sense that Scotland was being penalised and treated differently. 13 Ironically, the UK Conservatives were the first political Party to embrace devolution, under Ted Heath’s leadership in the late 1960s (cf Lang 2002).