Established in 1982 by Andries Petrus Treurnicht (b. 1921, d. 1993), who had been expelled from the National Party (NP) for his negative stance to P. W. Botha's moderate reform of apartheid, earning him the nickname ‘Dr No’. As former leader of the influential Transvaal section of the NP, Treurnicht had considerable standing in the Afrikaner communities of the Transvaal and Orange Free State. In the 1987 elections, the Conservative Party (CP) became the biggest party of opposition with twenty‐two parliamentary seats, increasing its representation to 39 seats in 1989, with just over 30 per cent of the votes cast. However, its fortunes underwent a dramatic decline after de Klerk's decision to hold a referendum on the abolition of apartheid in 1992, which the White population approved with an overwhelming majority, against the opposition of the CP. It did not participate in the 1994 multi‐racial elections out of protest.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).