Glasgow University Conservative Association

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Glasgow University Conservative Association
Motto Promoting Conservatism on campus since 1836
Formation 1836 (as the Peel Club)
Sarah Sharp
Matthew McPherson
Parent organization
University of Glasgow
Website Official Website

Glasgow University Conservative Association (shortened to GUCUA) was founded in 1836[1] at the University of Glasgow, and is the oldest University Conservative association in the United Kingdom. It was formed as a branch of the Federation of Conservative Students and of the Young Conservatives, and remains affiliated to the Scottish Conservative Party. Its main aim was to promote Conservative principles in the University with special emphasis on student and University politics.


Its original name was the Peel Club, and it was formed after Robert Peel's 1836 election as Rector of Glasgow University. In 1852 it changed its name to Glasgow University Conservative Club, which it remained for 120 years, renaming itself Glasgow University Conservative Association in 1972.[2]

A particular aim of the Club, as stated in the 1972 Constitution, was to preserve the dignity of the Rectorial Chair of the University by promoting prominent Conservatives to occupy the position. This has resulted in many famous Conservative candidates, the most notable of whom was Benjamin Disraeli, who was elected to the three-year term in 1871 and 1874.[3]

Today, the Association operates as a forum for students to discuss Conservative politics and participate in events and campaigning in Glasgow and further afield around Scotland. The Association is affiliated with the national Conservative Party through Conservative Future Scotland which brings together associations of young conservatives throughout Scotland, mainly through university groups.

The Association is operated by the Executive, which comprises the President, Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer elected on an annual basis at the association's Annual General Meeting in May. It also has three honorary positions. The Current Honorary President is Ruth Davidson with Struan Stevenson and James MacLeod serving as Honorary Vice Presidents.


The Association executive organises a range of events throughout the academic year. This includes the Annual St Andrew's Dinner held every year in November, political discussions and other social events. The Association also regularly campaigns for the Conservative Party for elections at all levels across the country.


Alumni Project[edit]

In 2011, the Association embarked upon a project to identify all the previous presidents and other office bearers of the Association. The project is expected to take at least a year to complete.[4]

In the Media[edit]

Members of the Association were featured in a documentary that charted the campaign in East Renfrewshire in the run-up to the 2010 general election.[5] The Association's annual St Andrew's dinner in November 2010 attracted media attention as people opposing government policies on higher education protested outside with Police being called and three protestors being arrested.[6][7] Members of the Association have also appeared in national press and have given interviews for TV news as well.


See also[edit]