The BBC has a page listing the dates at which the political parties contesting the general election – or at least those with ten or more candidates – came into existence. It is an interesting list. It correctly identifies the Conservative Party as the oldest of the parties, but says it was ‘set up in 1832’. The Conservative Party was not ‘set up’ in 1832. Indeed, there was no particular date on which it was created. Rather, the party emerged from the old Tory Party in the 1830s.
The term ‘Conservative’ was used by George Canning in 1824 and employed in the Quarterly Review in 1830. The name began to enter popular use following this latter reference and in the Tamworth Manifesto in 1834 Sir Robert Peel wrote that he led ‘the great Conservative Party’. Various bodies using the name Conservative were established in 1832: a Durham Conservative Association was set up in that year, for example. Robert Blake notes the existence of an election fund in 1835. In effect, the Conservative Party emerged as the successor to the Tory Party in the period between 1831 and 1835, though it only acquired a institutionalised national structure in 1867 with the formation of the National Union of Conservative and Constitutional Working Men’s Associations (later the National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations). It was followed in 1867 by the creation of Central Office.
I don’t suppose the BBC had space for all that.