one of the main British political parties, on the political right, which especially believes in free enterprise and that industry should be privately owned Culture The Conservative Party developed from the old Tory Party in the 1830s and is still sometimes called by this name. It is a right wing party, supporting capitalism and free enterprise (= an economic system in which there is open competition in business and trade, and no government control). It formed the government in Britain from 1979 to 1997, during which time its leaders were Margaret Thatcher and then John Major. David Cameron became party leader in 2005. After the General Election of 2010, the Conservatives formed a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats and David Cameron became Prime Minister.