Conservative Party Archive: Printed and Published Material: Conservative Party European Election Publications and Election Addresses
Included within this catalogue are publications produced by the Conservative Party prior to and during European Election campaigns, as well as publications relating to British accession to the European Economic Community and the 1975 referendum on continued membership. Series of publications held include: the election manifestos of the Conservatives in the European Parliament, 1979-2019; The Campaign Guide, 1975-1994 (incomplete); Questions of Policy, 1971-1994 (incomplete); Speaker's Notes, 1984; Handbook for Europe, 1984-1994; Questions and Answers on Europe, 1971-1994; Campaign Notes, 1994; Daily Notes, 1994; and ad hoc European Election publications.
Also included within this catalogue are the collected election addresses of Conservative and other parties' European Parliamentary candidates, with election ephemera, 1979-2019.
- Creation: 1971-2019
4.85 Linear metres (35 physical shelfmarks.)
Language of Materials
Oxford, Bodleian Libraries, Conservative Party Archive [followed by shelfmark, e.g. PUB 219/6; PUB 219/10].
Full range of shelfmarks:
PUB 219/6; PUB 219/10; PUB 219/13; PUB 224/28-28A; PUB 224/31; PUB 235/4; PUB 326-334; PUB 337; PUB 339-341; PUB 580-581.
Collection ID (for staff)
CPA PUB L
Publications of the Conservative Party relating to European Election campaigns, with collected European election addresses.
Biographical / Historical
The first direct elections to the European Parliament took place in 1979, replacing the earlier system by which Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) were nominated by national legislatures. In order to meet this challenge, the Conservative Party produced a range of European Election publications, including dedicated manifestos, in support of its candidates. This practice has continued through subsequent European Elections up to the present day.
The European Election publications produced by the Party were often published in conjunction with the European Parliamentary Group to which the Party's MEPs were affiliated, as follows:
- The European Conservative Group (1973-1979), formed from an alliance between Conservative MEPs and Danish MEPs representing conservative parties. The group existed during the period of the unelected European Parliament, and represented a centre-right political position distinct from that of the Christian Democrat and Eurosceptic political groups.
- The European Democratic Group (1979-1992), a direct successor to the European Conservative Group whose membership at points additionally included MEPs from the Ulster Unionist Party and the Popular Alliance Party of Spain. The group was the third-largest during the 1979-1984 and 1984-1989 parliamentary terms, but losses at the 1989 European elections threatened the Group's viability and led to its dissolution in 1992.
- The Group of the European People's Party (1992-1999), a centre-right grouping which the Conservative Delegation joined as allied members following the dissolution of the European Democratic Group. Unlike the majority of the Group's members, the Conservative delegation did not affiliate with the European People's Party (a historically Christian Democrat transnational party that expanded during the 1990s to encompass a broad-church centre-right position), an arrangement that enabled Conservative MEPs to continue to stand on a separate manifesto that did not commit the Party to the federalist policies of their allies.
- The Group of the European People's Party and European Democrats (1999-2009), a successor to the Group of the European People's Party that formalised the distinction between the Group's federalist and Eurosceptic elements. In spite of the new structure, membership continued to prove unpopular among the Conservative Party membership, and in 2005 David Cameron won the Party's leadership election on a pledge to withdraw the Conservative Delegation from the Group.
- The European Conservatives and Reformists Group (2009-present), a new conservative and Eurosceptic political grouping that was established following the 2009 European Elections. The Group became the third-largest in the European Parliament following the 2014 European Elections.
The archive of the Conservative Party was established as a source for academic study at the Bodleian Library in 1978 by an agreement made between the University of Oxford and the Conservative Party, and brought together surviving historic papers of the Party previously held in various locations including Newcastle University Library and the former Conservative Central Office in Smith Square, London. Since 1996, ownership of the archive has been vested in the Conservative Party Archive Trust. The archive includes records from all three areas of Party organisation: parliamentary, voluntary and professional.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Conservative Party
- Conservative Party | Conservative Central Office (Organisation)
- Conservative Party | Conservative Research Department (Organisation)
- Conservative Party | Conservatives in the European Parliament (Organisation)
- Conservative Party (Organisation)
- European Parliament | European Conservative Group (Organisation)
- European Parliament | European Conservatives and Reformists Group | United Kingdom Delegation (Organisation)
- European Parliament | European Democratic Group (Organisation)
- European Parliament | Group of the European People's Party and European Democrats | British Section (Organisation)
- European Parliament | Group of the European People's Party | British Section (Organisation)
- Conservative Party Archive: Printed and Published Material: Conservative Party European Election Publications and Election Addresses
- Finding aid prepared by Jeremy Mcllwaine in 2011. Revised and expanded by Simon Mackley in 2019.
- Language of description
- Script of description