Conservative Party Archive: Published Material: Conservative Party Election Publications

Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

Catalogued in EAD by Jeremy McIlwaine, 2014


Conservative Party Archive
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Table of Contents

Conservative Party Election Manifestos, 1923-2010
The Campaign Guide,1885-2010
Election Manual, 1892-1995
Questions of Policy, 1945-1992
Daily Notes, 1922-1992
All the Answers, 1950-1964
Ad hoc general election publications, 1909; 1987

Published Material: Conservative Party Election Publications, 1885-2010

Included within this section are publications produced by the Conservative Party prior to and during General Election campaigns. Included are:- the official Party manifesto; the Party's Campaign Guide and Election Manual for each election; Daily Notes, the day-by-day account of the political battle during the period of the election campaign itself; and the responses of the Questions of Policy Committee to requests for clarification of Party policy by Conservative Parliamentary Candidates. This catalogue does not include Conservative Party General Election posters [for which, see Posters], Leaflets and Handbills, material on European Elections or Local Government Elections, for which see the main catalogue of Published Material]. Separate catalogues for each of these sections will follow in due course.

Shelfmarks: PUB A

Extent: 128 shelfmarks

Restrictions on Access

Available for research.

Preferred Form of Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Library, Conservative Party Archive [followed by shelfmark, e.g. PUB 187/1].

Corporate names (NCA Rules)

Conservative Party | Conservative Central Office
Conservative Party | Conservative Research Department
Conservative Party | National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations

Conservative Party Election Manifestos, 1923-2010

PUB 155/1 Conservative Party Manifesto 1923
PUB 155/2 Conservative Party Manifesto 1931
PUB 155/3 Conservative Party Manifesto 1935
PUB 155/4 Conservative Party Manifesto 1945
PUB 155/8 Conservative Party Manifesto 1949
PUB 155/5 Conservative Party Manifesto

Includes This Is The Road: The Conservative and Unionist Party's Policy and a photocopy from another source.

PUB 155/9 Conservative Party Manifesto 1951
PUB 155/6 Conservative Party Manifesto


  • /1 Conservative Party Manifesto: United for Peace and Progress
  • /2 Conservative Party Manifesto: United for Peace and Progress - A short version of the Conservative & Unionist Party's Policy, General Election 1955
  • /3 Conservative Party Manifesto: photocopy from a Times election publication

PUB 155/10 Conservative Party Manifesto 1958
PUB 155/11 Conservative Party Manifesto 1958
PUB 155/7 Conservative Party Manifesto: The Next Five Years

[Includes 2 leaflet version and a photocopy of same from a Times election publication]

PUB 155/12 Conservative Party Manifesto


  • /1 Conservative Party Manifesto
  • /2 Conservative Party Manifesto - leaflet version
  • /3 Conservative Party Manifesto: Wales with the Conservatives [leaflet]
  • /4 Conservative Party Manifesto: Scotland with the Unionists [leaflet]

PUB 155/13 Conservative Party Manifesto 1965
PUB 155/14 Conservative Party Manifesto 1965
PUB 155/14a Conservative Party Manifesto: Actions, Not Words: The New Conservative Programme 1966
PUB 155/15 Conservative Party Manifesto 1968
PUB 155/16 Conservative Party Manifesto 1970
PUB 156/1 Conservative Party Manifesto: A better tomorrow 1970
PUB 156/2 Conservative Party Manifesto: Putting Britain First Oct 1974
PUB 156/3 Manifesto for Scotland 1978
PUB 156/4 Conservative Party Manifesto 1979
PUB 157/1 Manifestos and papers 1983
PUB 157/2 Conservative Party Manifesto: We the People [Format: A4; 21pp, spiral-bound] 1987
PUB 157/3 Photocopies of the Conservative Party manifesto The Next Moves Forward 1987
PUB 157/4 Conservative Party 1987 manifestos and supporting publications


  • /1 Conservative Party 1987 manifesto: The Next Moves Forward [pamphlet; 77pp]
  • /2 Our First Eight Years: The Achievements of the Conservative Government Since May 1979 [UK edition; pamphlet: 26pp]
  • /3 Our First Eight Years: The Achievements of the Conservative Government Since May 1979 [Scottish edition; pamphlet: 34pp]
  • /4 Our First Eight Years: The Achievements of the Conservative Government Since May 1979 [Welsh edition; pamphlet: 34pp]
  • /5 Conservative Manifesto for Wales [pamphlet; 24pp; English and Welsh]
  • /6 The Next Moves Forward: The Conservative Party Manifesto 1987: A Summary [leaflet]
  • /7 The Next Moves Forward: The Conservative Party Manifesto for Scotland 1987: A Summary [leaflet]

PUB 158/1 Conservative Party Manifesto: The Best Future for Britain 1992
PUB 158/2 Conservative Party Manifesto: The Best Future for Britain 1992
PUB 158/3 Conservative Party Manifesto: You Can Only be sure with the Conservatives 1997
PUB 158/4 Conservative Party Manifesto: You Can Only be sure with the Conservatives (pamphlets) 1997
PUB 158/5 Conservative Party Manifesto: Opportunity and Prosperity for Wales 1997
PUB 257 Conservative Party Manifesto: Time for Action

Note: [Photocopies only; no originals held]


  • /1 Conservative Manifesto 2005: The Choice in 2005. Time for Action
  • /2 Conservative Manifesto 2005, Chapter 1: Action on Education
  • /3 Conservative Manifesto 2005, Chapter 2: Action on Crime
  • /4 Conservative Manifesto 2005, Chapter 3: Action on Health
  • /5 Conservative Manifesto 2005, Chapter 4: Action on the Economy
  • /6 Conservative Manifesto 2005: Action on Global Poverty
  • /7 Conservative Manifesto 2005: Action for Older People

PUB 255 Conservative Party Manifesto: Invitation to join the Government of Britain


  • /1 The Conservative Party Manifesto
  • /2 The Welsh Conservative Party manifesto
  • /3 The Conservative Manifesto for Scotland
  • /4 The Conservative Quality of Life Manifesto: Modern Conservatism: Our Quality of Life Agenda
  • /5 The Conservative Older People Manifesto: An invitation to Older People
  • /6 The Conservative Armed Forces Manifesto: A new convenant for our Armed Forces and their families

PUB 256 Conservative Party Manifesto: Invitation to join the Government of Britain


  • /1 Easy Read version
  • /2 Braille version (vol. 1)
  • /3 Braille version (vol. 2)


The Campaign Guide,1885-2010

The Campaign Guide was an important compendium of facts and figures published by the Conservative Party in preparation for an election campaign. It provided the background for all important political questions of the period, as well as a full record of the performance of the Party as compared against the Opposition during the life of the previous Parliament. Each Guide is fully indexed by subject and contains a full conspectus of events and review of problems for each parliament, with extensive essential background information and appendices.

Although a volume entitled Campaign Notes was produced by Conservative Central Office in London in 1885, the first Campaign Guide proper was produced by the Council of the National Union of Conservative Associations for Scotland in Edinburgh in 1892. Subsequent editions up to 1909 were also published in Edinburgh but thereafter publication was taken over by Conservative Central Office. Production delays which meant the 1922 edition came out too late for the election also resulted in no Guide being produced for either the 1923 or 1924 elections, but it was revived in 1929 under the title Election Notes for Conservative Speakers and Workers. In 1931, 1935 and 1945 it was published under the title Notes for Speakers and Workers. In 1948 the Reference and Political Section at Central Office was transferred to the Conservative Research Department, and production of the Campaign Guide transferred with it, although the imprint on the title page continued to be that of Central Office. It was at this time that publication reverted to the title Campaign Guide for the 1950 and subsequent editions to date.

The Campaign Guide was intended to be published just a few months before an election campaign began, but often this was difficult to predict. After the Second World War if much time elapsed between the appearance of the Campaign Guide and the announcement of the General Election, a Campaign Supplement was produced. Since 1979, similar volumes have also been produced for the direct elections to the European Parliament.

Whilst the guides are primarily designed for the Party's own candidates and officials, they are not confidential and are available to the press and other interested observers. The Campaign Guide is the Party's 'bible': the authoritative source for definitions of policy and for checking the terms of statements which have been made. When the Party has been in power, it provides a defence of the Conservative record with supporting statistics and examples; when their opponents have been in office, it offers chapter and verse on their failings.

The Campaign Guide is not a series of pledges or the official statement of the Party's programme: that is the role of the Manifesto. However the latter is brief and often deliberately kept to vague generalities, and it is the Campaign Guide which puts flesh on the bones. In practice - at least unofficially - it has come to be regarded as a supplement to the manifesto. As it is in the public arena and the Party can be challenged upon its contents, it is carefully drafted, rigorously checked, and quoted passages are buttressed by attribution or source. The guide is normally prefaced by an introduction from the Party leader which summarises the main planks of the programme and aims to set the tone of the campaign.

PUB 224/1 Campaign Notes 1885
PUB 224/1a Campaign Guide 1892
PUB 224/1b Campaign Guide 1894
PUB 224/2 Campaign Guide 1900
PUB 224/3 Campaign Guide 1904
PUB 224/4 Campaign Guide 1906
PUB 224/5 Campaign Guide 1909
PUB 224/6 Notes on Election Petitions 1911
PUB 224/7 Campaign Guide 1914
PUB 224/8 Campaign Guide 1922
PUB 224/9a Election Notes for Conservative Speakers and Workers 1929
PUB 224/9b Election Notes for Conservative Speakers and Workers 1929
PUB 224/10 Notes for Speakers and Workers

Also contains The Liberal Party 1929-31

PUB 224/11a Notes for Speakers and Workers 1935
PUB 224/11b Notes for Speakers and Workers 1935
PUB 189/11c Notes for Speakers and Workers 1945
PUB 224/12 Campaign Guide 1950
PUB 224/13 Campaign Guide Supplement 1950
PUB 224/14 Campaign Guide 1951
PUB 224/15 Campaign Guide Supplement 1951
PUB 224/16 Campaign Guide 1955
PUB 224/17 Campaign Guide 1959
PUB 224/18 Campaign Guide Supplement 1959
PUB 224/19 Campaign Guide and Supplement 1964
PUB 224/20 Campaign Guide 1966
PUB 224/21 Campaign Guide 1970
PUB 224/22 Campaign Guide 1974
PUB 224/23 Campaign Guide Supplement 1974
PUB 224/24 Campaign Guide 1977
PUB 224/25 Campaign Guide Supplement 1978
PUB 224/26 Campaign Guide 1983
PUB 224/27 Campaign Guide 1987
PUB 224/29 Campaign Guide 1991
PUB 224/30 Campaign Guide 1992
PUB 224/32 Campaign Guide 1997
PUB 224/33 Campaign Guide 2001
PUB 224/34 Campaign Guide 2005
PUB 224/35 Campaign Guide 2010

Election Manual, 1892-1995

The Election Manual or, to give it its full title, A Practical Manual on the Conduct and Management of Parliamentary Elections, for the use of Conservative Candidates and Election Agents, was first published by Conservative Central Office in 1890. It was the Conservative Party's official guidance to local Party organisers in response to the Corrupt Practices Act of 1883, which imposed limits on election expenditure and enforced professional standards for the conduct of elections. As such, the Election Manual, revised and circulated prior to most subsequent General Elections at least up to 1995, lists the practical steps required to run an efficient and legal campaign within a parliamentary constituency, from doorstep canvassing to issuing election leaflets and making the official Declaration of Election Expenses.

PUB 225/1 Election Manual 1892, reprinted 1905
PUB 225/2 Election Manual 1909
PUB 225/3 Election Manual 1921
PUB 225/4 Election Manual 1929
[PUB 225/5] [Vacant]

Note: [Election Notes, 1931, previously found at this shelfmark, has been re-catalogued as party of the Campaign Guide series (see above, shelfmark: PUB 224/10)]

PUB 225/6 Election Manual 1938
PUB 225/7 Election Manual 1949
PUB 225/8 Election Manual 1951
PUB 225/9 Election Manual 1957
PUB 225/10 Election Manual 1963
PUB 225/11 Election Manual Supplements, Nos. 1-2 1969
PUB 225/12 Election Manual 1970
PUB 225/12a Election Manual 1976
PUB 225/13 Election Manual 1983
PUB 225/14 Election Manual 1987
PUB 225/15 Election Manual 1991
PUB 225/16 Election Manual 1995

Questions of Policy, 1945-1992

These volumes provide a detailed record of the requests for clarification of Party policy received from Conservative Parliamentary Candidates during election campaigns. As described in a memorandum from Joseph Ball to Chamberlain dated 30th September 1931, “It has been the practice during recent General Elections for the Party to set up an ad hoc Committee, under the chairmanship of a senior Conservative politician, not himself actively engaged in the contest, to consider and answer from day to day the numerous questions on matters of policy which are invariably addressed by members, candidates, party workers, and others to Party Headquarters during the Election..…The Research Department has been created for the express purpose of investigating such matters of Party policy as the leaders have seen fit from time to time to refer to it.”

While the working papers of such Questions of Policy Committees prior to 1929 have not survived, the Conservative Party Archive holds the following:-

Note: [Papers of the Questions of Policy Committee during the 1979 General Election have not yet been catalogued. Please ask for details]

PUB 219/1 General Elections 1945 & 1950 1945, 1950
PUB 219/2 General Elections 1951 & 1955 1951, 1955
PUB 219/3 General Election 1959 & 1964 1959, 1964
PUB 219/4 General Election 1966 1966
PUB 219/5 General Election 1970 1970
PUB 219/6 Common Market Questions 1971
PUB 219/7 General Election Feb 1974 Feb 1974
PUB 219/8 General Election Oct 1974 Oct 1974
PUB 219/8a General Election 1979 1979
PUB 219/9 General Election 1983 1983
PUB 219/10 European Elections 1984 1984
PUB 219/11 General Election 1987 1987
PUB 219/11a General Election 1987

Note: [This is an unbound version of PUB 219/11, but the typescript quality is better]

PUB 219/12 General Election 1992 1992
PUB 219/13 European Election 1994 1994

Daily Notes, 1922-1992

Daily Notes was produced by Conservative Central Office on a more-or-less daily basis for the duration of an election campaign only, for General Elections from at least 1922 through to 1987. It supplemented the Campaign Guide [for which, see above] which was a detailed compendium of information and which was itself a more detailed supplement to the Party's manifesto. Its purpose was to provide an up-to-date record of the progress of the election campaign, and to provide a quick and effective means of disseminating rebuttals of Opposition claims to Party activists.

As described on the first page of the first issue in 1922, 'It is intended for the use of Unionist Candidates' Agents and Speakers in all parts of the country. "Daily Notes" will supply up-to-date fighting material, and suggest useful points for platform, leaflet, or poster purposes. Effective answers will be given to statements by leading political opponents during the contest.'

By the 1970s methods of electioneering had greatly changed, and the need for more responsive material during the election campaign itself meant that Daily Notes came into its own and could keep pace with developments and offer a freshness which the bulky Guide lacked.

For 1951, Responsibility for publication of Daily Notes transferred to the Conservative Research Department.

Note: [Prior to 1945 the series of Daily Notes were dispersed and bound up as part of a general sequence of Party leaflets and pamphlets issued which were arranged in chronological order. These volumes were dismantled as part of a conservation project to aid preservation of, and improve access to this material in 2012. Cross-references are given below to show the previous shelfmarks]

PUB 223/14 Nos. 1-18

Note: [Bound; Formerly Shelfmark: PUB 38/2]

27 Oct-13 Nov 1922
PUB 223/15 Nos. 1-18

Note: [Formerly Shelfmark: PUB 39/2]

17 Nov-04 Dec 1923
PUB 223/16 Nos. 1-15

Note: [Bound; Formerly Shelfmark: PUB 43/2]

13 Oct-27 Oct 1924
PUB 223/17 Nos. 1-20

Note: [Formerly Shelfmark: PUB 49]

07-29 May 1929
PUB 223/18 Nos. 1-11

Note: [Formerly Shelfmark: PUB 52/1]

13-24 Oct 1931
PUB 223/19 Nos. 1-14

Note: [Formerly Shelfmark: PUB 50/2]

28 Oct-8 Nov 1935
PUB 223/1 Nos. 1-15 15 June-2 July 1945
PUB 223/2 General Election, 1950 Nos. 1-16 3-21 Feb. 1950
PUB 223/3 Nos. 1-16 5-23 Oct. 1951
PUB 223/3a Nos. 1-16 (1950 General Election); Nos. 1-16 (1950 General Election)

Note: [This is a duplicate of PUB 223/2-3, and had previously been wrongly-catalogued as part of the Notes on Current Politics series under Shelfmark: PUB 221/8]

1950; 1951
PUB 223/4 Nos. 1-16 6-24 May 1955
PUB 223/5 Nos. 1-16 18 Sept.-6 Oct. 1959
PUB 223/6 Nos. 1-16 25 Sept.-14 Oct. 1964
PUB 223/7 Nos. 1-17 9-29 Mar. 1966
PUB 223/8 Nos. 1-16 21 May-15 June 1970
PUB 223/9 Nos. 1-9 13-26 Feb. 1974
PUB 223/10 Nos. 1-15 20 Sept.-8 Oct. 1974
PUB 223/11 Nos. 1-[13] 'Final Issue' 11 Apr-1 May 1979
PUB 223/12 Nos. 1-[13] 'Final Issue' 19 May-7 June 1983
PUB 223/13 Nos. 1-17 & Daily Notes Supplement, No. 1 (May 1987) 19 May-8 June 1987
PUB 223/20 Nos. 1-18 18 Mar-7 Apr 1992

All the Answers, 1950-1964

PUB 228/1 All the Answers for the Election 1950
PUB 228/2 All the Answers for the Election 1951
PUB 228/3 All the Answers for the Election 1955
PUB 228/4 All the Answers for the Election 1959
PUB 228/5 All the Answers for the Election 1964

Ad hoc general election publications, 1909; 1987

PUB 190/1a "The Saturday Handbook" for Unionist Speakers, Candidates and Workers, edited by Gervaise Beckett MP and Geoffrey Ellis, Unionist parliamentary candidate for Holmfirth, Yorkshire

Volume of articles prepared under the auspices of the London weekly newspaper Saturday Review for Conservative candidates and workers prior to the 1910 General Election. Includes articles on a variety of topical subjects including the Budget, Death Duties, Licensing, House of Lords reform, Tariff Reform, the Army and Navy, Ireland, Education and the Church of England. Contributors include Andrew Bonar Law.

PUB 299 Conservative Party Publicity Guide: Election Campaign Series 1: artwork pack containing templates and sample leaflets and posters produced by Conservative Central Office, with a guide to how to use it 1987
PUB 302 Absent Voters' registration


  • Absent Votes: Your way to get those extra vital votes - Postal & Proxy Voting Pack 1987
  • Absent Votes Wallet

PUB 303 General Election artwork templates 1987

Transformation from XML to HTML by Lawrence Mielniczuk
09 June 2014