Annabel MacNicoll Goldie

Scottish Conservative Member of the Scottish Parliament for the West of Scotland Region. She was the Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party in the Scottish Parliament from 2005 until 2011. In October 2013, she became a life peer in the House of Lords.

Goldie was born in Glasgow, Scotland but has lived in nearby Renfrewshire all of her life. Previously living in the countryside between Kilmacolm and Lochwinnoch, she has been a resident of the nearby village of Bishopton for the past forty years. First educated at Kilmacolm Primary School and Greenock Academy, she went on to study at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, graduating with an LL.B in 1971. She was a solicitor and partner with Glasgow law firm Donaldson, Alexander, Russell & Haddow from 1978 to 2006. She is also an Elder in the Church of Scotland and sits on the West of Scotland Advisory Board of the Salvation Army. She is unmarried and is a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Renfrewshire.

Goldie first stood for election to the House of Commons in the 1992 general election for the West Renfrewshire and Inverclyde constituency, coming second with 32.9% of the vote.

Goldie was elected to the Scottish Parliament in the 1999 election as an additional member for the West of Scotland electoral region, and subsequently became deputy leader of the Scottish Conservatives. She retained this seat in the 2003 election and again in 2007.

In addition to her appearance on the regional list ballots, she has also stood as a candidate in the West Renfrewshire constituency for the Scottish Parliament in 1999, 2003 and 2007. While increasing the Conservative share of the vote each time, she has yet to be elected although raised her position from third to second place in 2007 with a reduced Labour majority.

Following boundary changes, the West Renfrewshire constituency has been abolished. Goldie has been selected by local Scottish Conservative members to fight the new seat of Renfrewshire North and West.

On 31 October 2005, Goldie became acting leader after David McLetchie resigned as leader of the Scottish Conservatives following adverse publicity created by the publishing of details of expenses he claimed for taxi journeys.

Goldie put herself forward as a leadership candidate on 2 November 2005—a joint nomination with Murdo Fraser as her proposed deputy. Their nomination was unopposed and Goldie was appointed leader on 8 November 2005, the first woman to lead the Scottish Conservative Party. In her maiden speech as leader, she promised to act against "disloyalty and disobedience" in the party and in a reference to Margaret Thatcher she said, "I think you may take it matron's handbag will be in hyper-action. There could be worse precedents to follow".

At her first party conference in March 2006, Goldie set out her plans to make the Scottish Conservatives the "principal party of opposition in Scotland". However her second conference as party leader was overshadowed by a leaked memo by David Mundell, the only Scottish Conservative MP in the British House of Commons, and Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, in which he criticised Goldie's leadership.

She has won praise for her leadership of the party into the 2007 Scottish Parliament election and personally as a skilled debater and been labelled a "much-liked public figure". From February 2009 onwards, Goldie was given monthly attendance rights to participate in the Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet in Westminster.

On 9 May 2011, Goldie stated her intention to resign as leader of the Scottish Conservatives, citing her party's disappointing election result, and she stood down on 4 November following the election of Ruth Davidson as her successor.

On 3 October 2013, Goldie was created a Life Peer taking the title Baroness Goldie, of Bishopton in the County of Renfrewshire.

Career Timeline

  • 1971 - Graduated with an LLB from Strathclyde University.
  • 1978 – January 2006 - Solicitor in the Donaldson, Alexander, Russell & Haddow law firm in Glasgow.
  • 1992 - Stood unsuccessfully for the Renfrew West & Inverclyde constituency.
  • 1999 – present - MSP for the West Scotland electoral region.
  • 2005-2011 - Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party.
  • 2011 – 2013 - Scottish Conservative spokesman on Culture and Communities.
  • 2013 – present - Scottish Conservative spokesman on the Constitution.
  • 2013 - Was put of the 2013 list as a Conservative Working peer in the House of Lords,


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