Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom. The governing party since 2010, it is the largest in the House of Commons, with 313 Members of Parliament, has 249 members of the House of Lords, 18 members of the European Parliament, 31 Members of the Scottish Parliament, 12 members of the Welsh Assembly, eight members of the London Assembly and 8,916 local councillors; the Conservative Party was founded in 1834 from the Tory Party—the Conservatives' colloquial name is "Tories"—and was one of two dominant political parties in the nineteenth century, along with the Liberal Party. Under Benjamin Disraeli it played a preeminent role in politics at the height of the British Empire. In 1912, the Liberal Unionist Party merged with the party to form the Conservative and Unionist Party. In the 1920s, the Labour Party surpassed the Liberals as the Conservatives' main rivals. Conservative Prime Ministers — notably Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher — led governments for 57 years of the twentieth century.
Positioned on the centre-right of British politics, the Conservative Party is ideologically conservative. Different factions have dominated the party at different times, including One Nation Conservatives and liberal conservatives, while its views and policies have changed throughout its history; the party has adopted liberal economic policies—favouring free market economics, limiting state regulation, pursuing privatisation—although in the past has supported protectionism. The party is British unionist, opposing both Irish reunification and Welsh and Scottish independence, supported the maintenance of the British Empire; the party includes those with differing views on the European Union, with Eurosceptic and pro-European wings. In foreign policy, it is for a strong national defence; the Conservatives are a member of the International Democrat Union and the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe and sit with the European Conservatives and Reformists parliamentary group. The Scottish, Northern Irish and Gibraltan branches of the party are semi-autonomous.
Its support base consists of middle-class voters in rural areas of England, its domination of British politics throughout the twentieth century has led to it being referred to as one of the most successful political parties in the Western world. The Conservative Party was founded in the 1830s. However, some writers trace its origins to the reign of Charles II in the 1670s Exclusion Crisis. Other historians point to a faction, rooted in the 18th century Whig Party, that coalesced around William Pitt the Younger in the 1780s, they were known as "Independent Whigs", "Friends of Mr Pitt", or "Pittites" and never used terms such as "Tory" or "Conservative". Pitt died in 1806. From about 1812 on the name "Tory" was used for a new party that, according to historian Robert Blake, "are the ancestors of Conservatism". Blake adds that Pitt's successors after 1812 "were not in any sense standard-bearer's of true Toryism"; the term "Conservative" was suggested as a title for the party by a magazine article by J. Wilson Croker in the Quarterly Review in 1830.
The name caught on and was adopted under the aegis of Sir Robert Peel around 1834. Peel is acknowledged as the founder of the Conservative Party, which he created with the announcement of the Tamworth Manifesto; the term "Conservative Party" rather than Tory was the dominant usage by 1845. The widening of the electoral franchise in the nineteenth century forced the Conservative Party to popularise its approach under Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby and Benjamin Disraeli, who carried through their own expansion of the franchise with the Reform Act of 1867. In 1886, the party formed an alliance with Spencer Compton Cavendish, Lord Hartington and Joseph Chamberlain's new Liberal Unionist Party and, under the statesmen Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Lord Salisbury and Arthur Balfour, held power for all but three of the following twenty years before suffering a heavy defeat in 1906 when it split over the issue of free trade. Young Winston Churchill denounced Chamberlain's attack on free trade, helped organize the opposition inside the Unionist/Conservative Party.
Balfour, as party leader, followed Chamberlain's policy introduced protectionist legislation. The high tariff element called itself "Tariff Reformers" and in a major speech in Manchester on May 13, 1904, Churchill warned their takeover of the Unionist/Conservative party would permanently brand it as: A party of great vested interests, banded together in a formidable confederation. Two weeks Churchill crossed the floor and formally joined the Liberal Party. )He rejoined the Conservatives in 1925.) In December, Balfour lost control of his party, as the defections multiplied. He was replaced by Liberal Prime Minister Henry Campbell-Bannerman who called an election in January 1906, which produced a massive Liberal victory with a gain of 214 seats. Liberal Prime Minister H. H. Asquith enacted a great deal of reform legislation, but the Unionists worked hard at grassroots organizing. Two general elections were held in one in January and one in December; the two main parties were now dead equal in seats.
The Unionists had more popular votes but the Liberals kept control with a coalition with the Irish Parliamentary Party. In 1912, the Liberal Unionis
Liberal Democrats (UK)
The Liberal Democrats are a liberal political party in the United Kingdom. They have 11 Members of Parliament in the House of Commons, 96 members of the House of Lords, one member of the European Parliament, five Members of the Scottish Parliament and one member in the Welsh Assembly and London Assembly. At the height of its influence, the party formed a coalition government with the Conservative Party from 2010 to 2015 with its leader Nick Clegg serving as Deputy Prime Minister, it is led by Sir Vince Cable. In 1981, an electoral alliance was established between the Liberal Party, a group, the direct descendent of the 18th-century Whigs, the Social Democratic Party, a splinter group from the Labour Party. In 1988 this alliance was formalised as the Liberal Democrats. Under the leadership of Paddy Ashdown and Charles Kennedy, the party grew during the 1990s and 2000s, focusing its campaigning on specific seats and becoming the third largest party in the House of Commons. Under its leader Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrats were junior partners in a coalition government headed by Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, with Clegg serving as Deputy Prime Minister.
The coalition damaged the Liberal Democrats' electoral prospects: the party was reduced from 57 to 8 seats at the 2015 election. Positioned in the centre ground of British politics, the Liberal Democrats are ideologically liberal. Emphasising stronger protections for civil liberties, the party promotes liberal approaches to issues like LGBT rights, education policy, criminal justice. Different factions take different approaches to economic issues; the party is pro-Europeanist, supporting continued UK membership of the European Union and greater European integration. It calls for electoral reform with a transition from the first-past-the-post voting system to one of proportional representation. Other policies have included further environmental protections and drug liberalisation laws, while it has opposed certain UK military engagements like the Iraq War; the party is a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and Liberal International. The Liberal Democrats are strongest in northern Scotland, southwest London, southwest England, mid-Wales.
The Liberal Democrats were formed on 3 March 1988 by a merger between the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party, which had formed a pact nearly seven years earlier as the SDP–Liberal Alliance. The Liberal Party, founded in 1859, were descended from the Whigs and Peelites, while the SDP were a party created in 1981 by former Labour Party members, MPs and cabinet ministers, but gained defections from the Conservative Party. Having declined to third party status after the rise of the Labour Party from 1918 and during the 1920s, the Liberals were challenged for this position in the 1980s when a group of Labour MPs broke away and established the Social Democratic Party; the SDP and the Liberals realised that there was no space for two political parties of the centre and entered into the SDP–Liberal Alliance so that they would not stand against each other in elections. The Alliance was led by Roy Jenkins; the two parties had their own policies and emphases, but produced a joint manifesto for the 1983 and 1987 general elections.
Following disappointing results in the 1987 election, Steel proposed to merge the two parties. Although opposed by Owen, it was supported by a majority of members of both parties, they formally merged in March 1988, with Steel and Robert Maclennan as joint interim leaders; the new party was named Social and Liberal Democrats with the unofficial short form The Democrats being used from September 1988. The name was subsequently changed to Liberal Democrats in October 1989, shortened to Lib Dems; the new party logo, the Bird of Liberty, was adopted in 1989. The minority of the SDP who rejected the merger remained under Owen's leadership in a rump SDP. Michael Meadowcroft joined the Liberal Democrats in 2007 but some of his former followers continue still as the Liberal Party, most notably in a couple of electoral wards of the cities of Liverpool and Peterborough; the then-serving Liberal MP Paddy Ashdown was elected leader in July 1988. At the 1989 European Elections, the party received only 6% of the vote, putting them in fourth place after the Green Party.
They failed to gain a single Member of the European Parliament at this election. Over the next three years, the party recovered under Ashdown's leadership, they performed better at the 1990 local elections and in by-elections—including at Eastbourne in 1990 which saw the first success by a Liberal Democrat standing for parliament. They had further successes in Ribble Valley and Kincardine & Deeside in 1991; the Lib Dems did not reach the share of national votes in the 1990s that the Alliance had achieved in the 1980s. At their first election in 1992, they won 17.8 % of twenty seats. In the 1994 European Elections, the party gained its first two Members of European Parliament. Following the election of Tony Blair as Labour leader in July 1994 after the death of his predecessor John Smith, Ashdown pursued co-operation between the two parties becaus
Barrhead is a town in East Renfrewshire, Scotland, 13 kilometres south-west of Glasgow on the edge of the Gleniffer Braes. At the 2011 census its population was 17,268. In 2007, Reader's Digest magazine voted East Renfrewshire the second best place in the United Kingdom to raise a family; the magazine cited Barrhead in their decision. Barrhead was formed when a series of small textile-producing villages grew into one another to form one contiguous town. According to local historian James McWhirter, the name "Barrhead" first appeared in 1750. Glanderston House, to the south, at one time belonged to the Stewart Kings of Scotland. In 1851 an explosion at the Victoria Pit colliery in nearby Nitshill occurred, killing 63 men and boys who worked in the mine, many of whom lived in Barrhead; the victims were buried in a mass grave in the yard at St John's Church on Darnley Road, although they were exhumed to other cemeteries, some may still reside at St John's in an unmarked grave. In 1890, with a expanding population approaching 10,000, various local residents formed a Barrhead Burgh Formation Committee.
The status of police burgh was granted in 1894 and William Shanks, proprietor of a local company, was elected as the first provost of Barrhead. During the 19th and early 20th century, the town was a major centre for manufacturing, with industries including an iron foundry and the Armitage Shanks porcelainware works, as well as Gaskell's carpet factory, employing generations of the town's residents. In the latter 20th century, the decline and closure of nearly all of these industries caused a fall in local population and employment. In recent years, Barrhead has found new life as a popular residential commuter town for nearby Paisley and Glasgow. During World War II, a handful of bombs fell on Barrhead from German planes headed towards Clydebank and Yoker. In 1894 Barrhead became a Burgh of Barony; this status was withdrawn in 1975 at the time of the institution of Strathclyde Regional Council and Renfrew District Council. Subsequent reorganisation to a single tier local authority in 1996 placed Barrhead under the auspices of East Renfrewshire Council.
Barrhead is a single council ward. Barrhead is part of the county constituency of East Renfrewshire, electing one MP to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom Parliament. Paul Masterton was elected to represent East Renfrewshire in 2017 General Election. For purposes of the Scottish Parliament, Barrhead forms part of the Renfrewshire South Constituency, represented by Tom Arthur of the Scottish National Party. In addition to this Barrhead is represented by seven regional MSPs from the West of Scotland electoral region. Barrhead forms part of the Greater Glasgow conurbation. Areas within the town include, Auchenback and Grahamston; the town is about 1 mile from the edge of the Glasgow urban area itself, separated by farmland and countryside, much of, now part of the Dams to Darnley Country Park encompassing the Balgray and Waulkmill Glen Reservoirs and thecourse of the Brock Burn. Major businesses within the town include Barrhead Travel, Kelburn Brewing Company, JM Murdoch & Son, among others.
The town's largest employer remains the public sector. In 2002, part of the administration of East Renfrewshire Council relocated from Eastwood Park to Barrhead Main Street. There is a range of retail goods available within Barrhead, although some residents still rely on Paisley and the nearby Silverburn Shopping Centre in Glasgow for the bulk of their purchases; the town has three supermarkets. Tesco is located just with Lidl closeby. Asda opened a store on Main Street in 2014. East Renfrewshire Council has committed nearly £100 million to a masterplan which will redevelop and modernise Barrhead's economy between 2007 and 2017; the Glasgow Road corridor is being redeveloped into a dedicated business district which includes Crossmill Business Park, Blackbyres Court, the former Bowerwalls housing area. There are four industrial estates: Robertson Street Industrial Estate, Levern Industrial Estate at Cogan Street, Muriel Street, the Barrhead Cargo Centre and Shanks Industrial Park, located on the former site of the Armitage Shanks factory.
In 2005 local businesses created the Barrhead Business Forum, which liaises with East Renfrewshire Council, Barrhead Community Council, East Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce. The administration and collection of business rates for Barrhead is undertaken by Renfrewshire Council; the national rate for business rates set by the Scottish Executive for 2007–2008 is 44.1p per pound. In October 2016, Barrhead businesses voted in favour of becoming a Business Improvement District, a model proving successful for town centres across the UK and beyond; the Barrhead BID is called'All About Barrhead' and is the third BID in East Renfrewshire, following Giffnock which established in 2013 and Clarkston, now in its second term, establishing in 2010. East Renfrewshire Credit Union is based in Barrhead; the town is part of the NHS Greater Clyde Health Board. The nearest accident and emergency unit is located at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley. Barrhead is accessible via Junction 3 of the M77 motorway. Local bus services, McGill's Bus Services, travel from Barrhead to Glasgow, Paisley and Newton Mearns.
Barrhead railway station, which serves the town, is on the Glasgow South Western Line. Trains from Barrhead run north-east to Glasgo
The Referendum Party was a Eurosceptic, single-issue political party, active in the United Kingdom from 1994 to 1997. The party's sole objective was for a referendum to be held on the nature of the UK's membership of the European Union, it called for a referendum on whether the British electorate wanted to be part of a federal European state or to revert to being a sovereign nation, part of a European free-trade bloc without wider political functions. The party was founded by the Anglo-French multi-millionaire businessman and politician James Goldsmith in November 1994. A Eurosceptic who had had close links to the UK's governing Conservative Party, he was an elected Member of the European Parliament for the Movement for France party, he used his financial resources and contacts to promote the new venture, in which he was assisted by other former Conservatives. The party's structure was centralised and hierarchical, giving Goldsmith near-total control over its operations. Although not offering party membership, it claimed to have 160,000 registered "supporters", an exaggerated number.
The party gained a Member of Parliament for two weeks in 1997, when George Gardiner, the MP for Reigate, defected to it from the Conservatives shortly before that year's general election. In the build-up to the 1997 general election, the Referendum Party spent more on press advertising than either the incumbent Conservatives or their main rival, the Labour Party, it stood candidates in 547 of the 659 constituencies, more than any minor party had fielded in a UK election. The party gained 811,827 votes, representing 2.6% of the national total. Support was strongest in southern and eastern England, weakest in inner London, northern England, Scotland. Following the election, psephologists argued that the impact of the Referendum Party deprived Conservative candidates of victory in somewhere between four and sixteen parliamentary seats. In the months following the election, the party renamed itself the Referendum Movement. Goldsmith died in July 1997, the party disbanded shortly afterward; some of its supporters reformed as a Eurosceptic pressure group called the Democracy Movement.
The United Kingdom joined the European Communities in 1973. Following the Maastricht Treaty in 1993 this became the European Union; the EU differed from the EC in having greater political authority, resulting in some reduction of the sovereignty of its member-states. The UK's ratification of the treaty in 1992, followed by its passing of the European Communities Act in 1994–95, had generated much controversy and infighting within the UK's Conservative Party, in government under Prime Minister John Major; this caused considerable damage to Major's administration, unpopular among the British population. Various British newspapers, among them The Sun, The Daily Telegraph and The Times, had adopted a Eurosceptic position. Opinion polls suggested growing opposition to aspects of the EU in the UK. More the acceleration of the EU's integration process had resulted in the growth of Eurosceptic parties across many of its member states; the Anglo-French businessman James Goldsmith announced the formation of the Referendum Party on 27 November 1994.
Goldsmith had once been a strong supporter of the EC but had grown disenchanted with it during the early 1990s, becoming concerned that it was forming into a superstate governed by centralised institutions in Brussels. He opposed the Maastricht Treaty, believing that it resulted in increased German dominance in Europe; as an economic protectionist, he was critical of the EU's signing of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, believing that global free trade would damage both the EU's economy and his own business interests. Goldsmith had prior political experience, having been elected as a Member of the European Parliament in France as part of the Eurosceptic Movement for France coalition in June 1994. Although his father had been a Member of Parliament representing Britain's Conservative Party, he had had a close relationship to the party when it was led by Margaret Thatcher, Goldsmith wanted to launch his campaign independently of the Conservatives, hoping that it could draw on cross-party concerns about the direction of the EU.
At the time of the party's formation, Goldsmith had an estimated personal wealth of £800 million, promised to put £20 million into the party. He pledged to spend at least £10 million on campaigning for the next general election, to ensure that his party was funded to the same extent as the country's larger political parties. Goldsmith's intervention in British politics has been compared with that of the multi-millionaires Ross Perot in the United States and Silvio Berlusconi in Italy. According to the political scientists Matthew Goodwin and Robert Ford, the Referendum Party was "a classic single-issue party"; the political scientists Neil Carter, Mark Evans, Keith Alderman, Simon Gorham described it as a "single-issue movement" that had attributes of both a political party and a pressure group. While it took part in elections, it focused on a single issue and stated that if it got Members of Parliament elected their sole aim would be to secure a referendum, it claimed that on achieving its main aim, the party would disband, unlike most political parties.
Eaglesham is a village in East Renfrewshire, situated about 10 miles south of Glasgow, 3 miles southeast of Newton Mearns and south of Clarkston, 4 miles southwest of East Kilbride. The 2011 census revealed. Eaglesham is distinctive in being built around the Orry, an area of common land about 1⁄3 mile in length, interspersed with trees and divided in the centre by the Eaglesham Burn; the ancient seat of the Earls of Eglinton. In the 17th century Eaglesham was a small market town. Today's village was founded in 1769 by Alexander Montgomerie, 10th Earl of Eglinton, it had at a cotton-mill. Many of its buildings are grade'B' or ` C' listed. Eaglesham was designated Scotland's first outstanding conservation area in 1960, it is that there has been a place of worship here since the 5th or 6th centuries. The village is an example of an early Scottish planned village; the name Eaglesham means a ‘settlement with a church or belonging to a church’. The first element is a Brittonic word for ‘church’, a loan-word from Latin ecclesia.
The second element derives from Old English hām. The parish of Eaglesham formed part of the district of Mearns, together with other lands were bestowed to Walter fitz Alan, Steward of Scotland, a member of the FitzAlan family, by David I, it is certain that Walter granted Eaglesham to Robert de Montgomerie, one of his principal followers, who appears to have originated from the Shropshire lands of the FitzAlans. Earls of Eaglesham and Ardrossan Situated in the Orry, is the Motte or Moot Hill, a flat-topped mound situated on the north-west bank of the Eaglesham Burn in the Orry used for judicial and local assemblies. In 1361, Sir John de Montgomerie of Eaglesham and Eastwood married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Hugh de Eglinton and niece of King Robert II. Sir John obtained the baronies of Eglinton and Ardrossan upon Sir Hugh's death in 1374. Afterwards the Montgomeries made Eglinton Estate their chief residence. In 1388, Sir John de Montgomerie captured Lord Percy at the Battle of Otterburn, it is traditionally believed that Sir John accepted a ransom for his prisoner who killed the 2nd Earl of Douglas and built Polnoon Castle on a small hillock on what appears to be an earlier motte.
Polnoon castle was refurbished for occupation in 1617 but was ruined by 1676. Following a period of peace and relative stability in Scotland during the reign of King James VI, religion continued to be a major issue; the Covenanter movement resulted from an attempt by King Charles I to impose a new prayer book and regulations on the Scottish Church. The population of Renfrewshire was predominantly in favour of the National Covenant and Alexander, 6th Earl of Eglinton signed the covenant. Covenanters faced steep fines or the threat of execution for expressing their faith and held their religious services in secret. A memorial to Covenanters Robert Lockhart and Gabriel Thomson who were shot by Highlandmen and Dragoons for their adherence to the Solemn League and Covenant as they returned from a conventicle in May 1685, stands in the kirkyard of Eaglesham Parish Church. Alexander, 8th Earl of Eglinton obtained an Act of Parliament in 1672 for an annual fair and weekly market. By the time the New Statistical Account for Scotland was published in 1845 the weekly market had long been discontinued and a flower show was held in place of fairs.
The fair was revived in 1961 and in recent years is held bi-annually in May or June and traditionally opens with a procession parading through the village. Until the 18th century, Scotland's villages were little more than settlements loosely organised around fermtouns. In 1769 Alexander, 10th Earl of Eglinton, began the work of developing the old kirktoun of Eaglesham into a planned village; however it was his successor, Archibald, 11th Earl of Eglinton, who saw Alexander's plans through to completion. The Earl planned his new village with two ranges of houses built around the Orry, an area of common land, interspersed with trees and divided in the centre by the Eaglesham Burn. Tacks were offered on 900 year leases on condition that a house was built on a tack within five years. Tenants were allowed to use the green for bleaching; as a result of agricultural improvements, displaced workers became tradesmen or weavers in the village. Eaglesham flourished during the age of industrial improvements.
Surgeons and traders such as coopers. Churches met the religious needs of the inhabitants. Schools provided education and carriers transported goods to and from the markets at Glasgow and Paisley. Handloom weaving became the main industry until the establishment of a water powered cotton spinning mill in the village in 1791; the Orry mill at its peak employed around 200 people with the machinery at one time driven by a 45-foot diameter cast iron water wheel. The mill burned down and was rebuilt several times before being destroyed by fire in 1876 and was never rebuilt. Without work many of the mill workers drifted away and their homes lay empty; the population of the village dropped from 2,428 in the mid-19th century to 1,075 at the end of the century. After seven centuries of ownership, the Montgomerie family's finances foundered and Eaglesham Estate was put on the market in 1835; the Estate was sold for £217,000 in 1844 to Allan Gilmour, Sr. and James Gilmour. Shortly afterwards the
Clarkston, East Renfrewshire
Clarkston is a suburban town in East Renfrewshire, in the Central Lowlands of Scotland. It lies 4.7 miles east of Barrhead, 7.2 miles east-southeast of Paisley and 3.9 miles northwest of East Kilbride. A small dormitory town with a population of 14,944, Clarkston is on the southern fringe of the Greater Glasgow conurbation and directly adjoins the neighbouring suburbs of Busby and Stamperland. On 21 October 1971, the shopping centre was the scene of the Clarkston explosion, which killed 22 people and injured around 100. A plaque on the site commemorates the event. Greenbank Garden, a National Trust for Scotland property, is located on the outskirts of Clarkston; when a new road from Paisley to East Kilbride was built through the area in the 1790s, a toll point was set up where it crossed what was the main route from Glasgow to Kilmarnock and Ayr. A man named John Clark built a house at the toll, the name'Clarkston' came to be used for the locality; the Maxwell family advertised the creation of a new village there in 1801, but it grew slowly.
Clarkston at this time had no industry of its own, villagers were employed in the mills at nearby Netherlee. The area began to expand more following the opening of Clarkston railway station by Busby Railways in the village in 1866, the expansion of the Glasgow tram network to Clarkston in 1921; the 1920s saw the final breaking up of the Williamwood Estate, encouraging further house building. Clarkston expanded in the 20th century as new suburban housing developments sprang up; the first area was Overlee, followed by Stamperland Carolside and Williamwood going towards the 1960s. During the 21st century there have been far fewer developments, including Aidan's Brae off Mearns Road and Seres Drive on the old site of Williamwood High School. Clarkston is in East Renfrewshire, one of the 32 council areas of Scotland for local government purposes. East Renfrewshire Council, the unitary local council, is based in nearby Giffnock and is the body responsible for local governance. For local electoral purposes, Clarkson was a ward electing a single councillor to East Renfrewshire Council, but is now grouped with Busby and Eaglesham as a larger multi-member ward electing three councillors.
Clarkston is one of East Renfrewshire's designated community council areas, but following the dissolution of the previous community council in 2015 there were insufficient nominations for it to be re-established at that time. The Scottish Parliament is responsible for devolved matters such as education and justice, while reserved matters are dealt with by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Clarkston forms part of the county constituency of East Renfrewshire, electing one member of parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Kirsten Oswald of the SNP was elected as MP for East Renfrewshire in the 2015 General Election. Before the constituency's creation in 2005, Clarkston lay in the Eastwood Constituency. For the purposes of the Scottish Parliament, Clarkston forms part of the Eastwood constituency, represented by Jackson Carlaw MSP, of the Conservative party. At 55°47′9″N 4°16′32″W Clarkston is situated in Scotland's Central Lowlands; the community lies 4.7 miles east of Barrhead, 3.9 miles northwest of East Kilbride and 5.57 miles south of Glasgow.
The territory of Clarkston is contiguous with Glasgow and forms part of Greater Glasgow, the United Kingdom's fifth-largest conurbation. Clarkston experiences a temperate maritime climate, like much of the British Isles, with cool summers and mild winters. Regular but light precipitation occurs throughout the year. Clarkston is a postal district within the post town of Glasgow in the G postcode area. Clarkston consists of postcode district G76, which extends beyond the town boundary to include neighbouring settlements Busby, Carmunnock and Waterfoot. According to the United Kingdom Census 2001, the census locality of Clarkston had a total resident population of 19,944, or 21% of the total of East Renfrewshire; the median age of males and females living in Clarkston was 38 and 41 compared to 37 and 39 years for those in the whole of Scotland. Fifty-nine percent were married, 3.7% were cohabiting couples, 7.0% were lone-parent families and 23.2% of households were made up of individuals. The place of birth of the towns residents was 97.1% United Kingdom, 0.5% Republic of Ireland, 0.5% from other European Union countries and 1.9% from elsewhere in the world.
Compared with the average demography of Scotland, Clarkston has higher proportions of people born in Scotland and young children. Of residents 16–74, 44.0% were in full-time employment, 13.1% in part-time employment, 7.2% self-employed and 1.9% unemployed compared with Scotland as a whole which has 40.3%, 11.1%, 6.6% and 4% respectively. Additionally, in Clarkston 4.5% students have jobs while 4.2% do not, 15.4% are retired, 4.8% look after their home or family, 3.0% are permanently sick or disabled, 1.9% are economically inactive for other reasons. Greenbank Garden is a National Trust for Scotland property situated on Flenders Road, consisting of the 18th-century Greenbank House and its walled gardens; the house is a Category A listed building. Overlee Playing Fields is a park situated on Moray Drive in the Stamperland area of Clarkston; the area is home to four separate sports a playground and a pavilion. The pavilion has been abandoned for around five years after large amounts of bats made their home there.
The area has a
1997 United Kingdom general election
The 1997 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 1 May 1997, five years after the previous general election on 9 April 1992, to elect 659 members to the British House of Commons. Under the leadership of Tony Blair, the Labour Party ended its eighteen-year spell in opposition and won the general election with a landslide victory, winning 418 seats, the most seats the party has held to date, the highest proportion of seats held by any party in the post-war era. For the first time since 1931, the outgoing government lost more than half its parliamentary seats in an election; the election saw a 10.0% swing from Conservative to Labour on a national turnout of 71%, would be the last national vote where turnout exceeded 70% until the 2016 EU referendum nineteen years later. As a result Blair became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, a position he held until his resignation on 27 June 2007. Under Blair's leadership, the Labour Party had adopted a more centrist policy platform under the name'New Labour'.
This was seen as moving away from the traditionally more left-wing stance of the Labour Party. Labour made several campaign pledges such as the creation of a National Minimum Wage, devolution referendums for Scotland and Wales and promised greater economic competence than the Conservatives, who were unpopular following the events of Black Wednesday in 1992; the Labour Party campaign was a success. However, 1997 was the last general election in which Labour had a net gain of seats until the snap 2017 general election 20 years later. A record number of women were elected to 120, of whom 101 were Labour MPs; this was in part thanks to Labour's policy of using all-women shortlists. The Conservative Party was led by incumbent Prime Minister John Major and ran their campaign emphasising falling unemployment and a strong economic recovery following the early 1990s recession. However, a series of scandals, party division over the European Union, the events of Black Wednesday and a desire of the electorate for change after 18 years of Conservative rule all contributed to the Conservatives' worst defeat since 1906, with only 165 MPs elected to Westminster, as well as their lowest share of the vote since 1832.
The party was left with no seats whatsoever in Scotland or Wales, many key Conservative politicians, including Defence Secretary Michael Portillo, Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind, Trade Secretary Ian Lang, Scottish Secretary Michael Forsyth and former ministers Edwina Currie, Norman Lamont, David Mellor and Neil Hamilton lost their parliamentary seats. However, future Prime Minister Theresa May was elected to the safe Conservative seat of Maidenhead, current Speaker John Bercow at Buckingham. Following the defeat, the Conservatives began their longest continuous spell in opposition in the history of the present day Conservative Party, indeed the longest such spell for any incarnation of the Tories/Conservatives since the 1760s, lasting 13 years, including the whole of the 2000s. Throughout this period, their representation in the Commons remained below 200 MPs; the Liberal Democrats, under Paddy Ashdown, returned 46 MPs to parliament, the most for any third party since 1929 and more than double the number of seats it got in 1992, despite a drop in popular vote, in part due to tactical voting by anti-Conservative voters supporting it in lieu of Labour in areas where that party had little strength.
The Scottish National Party returned six MPs, double its total in 1992. As with all general elections since the early 1950s, the results were broadcast live on the BBC; the British economy had been in recession at the time of the 1992 election, which the Conservatives had won, although the recession had ended within a year, events such as Black Wednesday had tarnished the Conservative government's reputation for economic management. Labour had elected John Smith as its party leader in 1992, but his death from a heart attack in 1994 led the way for Tony Blair to become Labour leader. Blair brought the party closer to the political centre and abolished the party's Clause IV in their constitution, which had committed them to mass nationalisation of industry. Labour reversed its policy on unilateral nuclear disarmament and the events of Black Wednesday allowed Labour to promise greater economic management under the Chancellorship of Gordon Brown. A manifesto, entitled New Labour, New Life For Britain was released in 1996 and outlined five key pledges: Class sizes to be cut to 30 or under for 5-, 6- and 7-year-olds by using money from the assisted places scheme.
Fast track punishment for persistent young offenders, by halving the time from arrest to sentencing. Cut NHS waiting lists by treating an extra 100,000 patients as a first step by releasing £100 million saved from NHS red tape. Get 250,000 under-25-year-olds off benefit and into work by using money from a windfall levy on the privatised utilities. No rise in income tax rates, cut VAT on heating to 5%, keeping inflation and interest rates as low as possible. Disputes within the Conservative government over European Union issues, a variety of "sleaze" allegations had affected the government's popularity. Despite the strong economic recovery and substantial fall in unemployment in the four years leading up to the election, the rise in Conservative support was only marginal with all of the major opinion polls having shown Labour in a comfortable lead since late 1992. Following the 1992 general election, the Conservatives held government with 336 of the 651 H