Pro-Euro Conservative Party

Pro-Euro Conservative Party

The Pro-Euro Conservative Party was a short-lived political party set up by John Stevens and Brendan Donnelly for the 1999 European Parliament Elections. The founders were MEPs (members of the European Parliament) who had been deselected by the UK Conservative Party [ [ Pro-Euro Conservative Party] - Euro Elections, Parties and Issues, BBC website] ] for their pro-Euro policy stance.Fact|date=March 2007 In the election the party received 1.4% of the vote and did not win any seats. In the same election the United Kingdom Independence Party, which campaigns for withdrawal from the European Union, won almost 7% of the popular vote and with it three parliament seats.

The Conservative Party in 1999 increased their own vote to 34.2%, up slightly from the 1997 General Election and the previous European election, although still well down on their last UK General Election victory in 1992. A study funded by the Eurosceptic organisation, Global Britain, claimed that the BBC "often treated the Pro-Euro Conservative Party as on par in importance to the Tories themselves". [ [ Global Britain: BBC Europhile Bias] ] The BBC disputed the methodology and context of the study but not the facts within the study. [ [ Reply from Sir Christopher Bland - 22nd July 1999] , on Global Britain website, (PDF)] It was also claimed by the PECP's opponents that, despite the party's name, a number of their candidates were originally from parties other than the Conservatives. [ [ Pro Euro 'Tory' worked with Labour last month] , Daily Telegraph, 7 June 1999]

After getting 3.8% of the vote in the 1999 Kensington & Chelsea by-election against Michael Portillo, the Pro-Euro Conservative Party soon faded away. Party campaign chief Mark Littlewood explained::"People hate parties, they hate the Conservatives and they hate the pro-euro cause: we had four of the most unpopular words in the English language." [ [ World: Europe Conservative name change] , BBC World, July 6 1999]

In 2001 the Pro-Euro Conservative Party disbanded, and the greater part of its membership joined the Liberal Democrats. [ [ Marsden quits, tired of control freaks and spin] , Daily Telegraph, 12 December, 2001] [ [ At least 25 High Profile Conservatives have Defected to the Liberal Democrats] - Tunbridge Wells Liberal Democrats]


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