Thomas Ronald Leslie Fraser (3 February 1929 – 4 March 2010) was a Scottish writer, broadcaster and Liberal Party politician. He was notable for standing as a candidate for the United Kingdom parliament, even though he was too young to be eligible to vote.
After graduation Fraser was appointed assistant lecturer in agricultural economics at Durham University. This was followed by three years in London, where he conducted research into agriculture, on the staff of the United States Embassy.
In 1960, Fraser was appointed editor of Farming News, where he worked for ten years, before it merged with The Scottish Farmer. He then worked freelance for various agricultural papers and trade magazines, and also the BBC.
Fraser was a member of the Trades House of Glasgow and served as Deacon of the Incorporation of Cordiners from 1969 to 1970. He was also chairman of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists.
Fraser got involved in politics at University and was assistant secretary of Glasgow University Liberal Club. In 1950, while still studying at university, he stood as the Scottish Liberal Party candidate in the United Kingdom general election, 1950 for the Glasgow Govan. Having only just celebrated his 21st birthday, Fraser was the youngest of the 475 Liberal candidates standing, and was the youngest candidate in the election. He legitimately stood as a candidate even though he was actually too young to vote. In 1918 the provisions of the Representation of the People Act 1918 allowed for people aged 21 to stand as candidates. Young people only had their name added to the electoral register once they had become 21 and electoral registers were only published once a year in February. The 1950 General Election was fought on the 1949/50 register on which his name was not included because he was too young. Subsequent electoral registration practices changed to include people coming of age during the life of the register. His candidacy was not a success and he finished third out of four candidates. After the election he became president of Glasgow University Liberal Club, serving from 1950 to 1951. He did not contest the 1951 General Election.
As a Liberal, Fraser supported Scottish Home Rule and was a supporter of the Scottish Covenant Association. The greatest coup of the Covenant Association was the removal of the Stone of Destiny from Westminster Abbey by four of their members (Ian Hamilton, Kay Matheson, Gavin Vernon and Alan Stuart) over Christmas in 1950. This famous act attracted huge publicity for the cause of Scottish home rule. Fraser's parents house in Carlisle, where he was staying, was used as a base for some of those organising the transport of the stone across the border into Scotland.
Fraser was chairman of the Scottish League of Young Liberals. He was elected president of the Glasgow University Union for the 1952–53 academic year. Once again, he stood as Liberal candidate at the 1955 General Election but this time at the more promising seat of West Aberdeenshire. However, in a difficult election for the Liberal party, he finished third. He did not contest any of the next three general elections. In 1970 he was again Liberal candidate, this time for Banffshire. He again finished third, narrowly behind the SNP candidate. He fought Banff again at the February 1974 election without improving his position. After this he did not stand for parliament again.
|Liberal||Thomas Ronald Leslie Fraser||1,628||3.9|
|Unionist gain from Labour||Swing|
|Unionist||Henry Reginald Spence||20,216||59.1|
|Labour||Miss Mary MacNeil||9,288||27.1|
|Liberal||Thomas Ronald Leslie Fraser||4,705||13.8|
|Liberal||Thomas Ronald Leslie Fraser||4,589||21.01|
|Liberal||Thomas Ronald Leslie Fraser||3,121||13.0|
|SNP gain from Conservative||Swing|