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Durham University

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Publication details for Dr Gary Hutchison

Hutchison, Gary D. (2020). ‘a distant and whiggish country’ the Conservative party and Scottish elections, 1832–1847. Historical Research 93(260): 333-352.

Author(s) from Durham


This article examines the role of the Scottish Conservative party in shaping the underlying culture of Scottish politics in the 1830s and 1840s, utilizing numerous collections of private papers, newspapers, memoirs and legal texts. It focuses on the party’s experiences of electioneering rituals, and its innovative electoral registration activities. It then examines the effects of its creation of illegitimate ‘fictitious’ votes, and of its diverse methods for influencing electors. In doing so, it puts ‘party’ at the heart of a notably distinctive and fast-evolving Scottish political culture, and challenges assumptions that this culture was overwhelmingly whiggish in character and inspiration.