Return of the lesser-spotted Tory

Alexander Thomas T. Smith

in Devolution and the Scottish Conservatives

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780719079696
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781703052 | DOI:
Return of the lesser-spotted Tory

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This chapter briefly sketches some of the incidents that took place in the aftermath of the 2003 elections in Scotland and examines whether the local Conservative Party had successfully addressed its crisis of irrelevance. The grounds on which activists made judgements about their own knowledge of local politics remained sketchy and uncertain. Senior Tories had to work hard at making political ‘change’ appear, locally and nationally. The chapter discusses the Tories' election campaign, along with banal activism and ethnography. The predicament with which the lesser-spotted Tory continues to be confronted confounds straightforward portrayals of contemporary Scottish politics. In Dumfries and Galloway, the Scottish Conservatives continue to face uncertainties and anxieties about the future. However, the sense of organisation that members of the Core Campaign Team achieved in 2003 gave many local Tories a new ‘spring in their step’, so to speak. It was with a feeling of optimism that they were able to approach a future in which they could now imagine one day winning the Dumfries constituency ‘back’ from the Labour Party.

Keywords: Scotland; Conservative Party; elections; politics; crisis of irrelevance; election campaign; banal activism; ethnography; Dumfries; Galloway

Chapter.  4819 words. 

Subjects: Regional and Area Studies

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