The Scottish Unionist Party (SUP) is a small political party operating in Scotland. They were formed in the mid 1980s by members of the Scottish Orange community angry with the then Conservative government for signing the Anglo-Irish Agreement. Traditionally supportive of the Conservatives, these members of the Orange community felt that the signing of the treaty was a betrayal and decided to form their own party instead.
They are an ideologically conservative party who vermhently oppose the idea of Scottish independence from the rest of the United Kingdom. They have not contested many elections in their years of existence, although they stood candidates in both the 1999 and 2003 Scottish Parliament elections. In the latter they contested only the Glasgow, Central Scotland and West of Scotland Additional Members System electoral regions, polling fairly poorly. They also contested only six local council wards in 2003, all located in the west central belt where the traditional "orange vote" resides.
The SUP also stood in two seats at the 2001 General Election, in Glasgow Springburn and Airdrie and Shotts. They managed to retain their deposit (at UK general elections each candidate must put up a £500 which they receive back if they attain 5% of the votes cast in the area in which they are standing) in Springburn and almost do so in Airdrie and Shotts. This was not so surprising in Springburn where there was no Conservative candidate (being The Speaker 's seat), but in Airdrie and Shotts, despite the presence of a Conservative they still managed to poll well.
The SUP campaigns against what it describes as anti-Presbyterian government policies and opposed moves to try and change the Act of Settlement 1701 which disallows the British monarch from marrying a Catholic. The party is strongly critical of the mainstream parties for what they view as a failure to safeguard the Act of Union 1707, even of the Conservatives who they believe are not being 'unionist' enough.
The name is based on that of Ulster Unionists. It is potentially confusing since the Conservatives have traditionally used the title Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, and at times have simply called themselves Unionists in Scotland.