Flashcards in 4.1 Case studies of three key general elections Deck (112)
How many seats did the Conservatives receive in the 1979 general election, and how many did they gain/lose? And, what % of the vote did they receive?
% of popular vote: 43.9%
How many seats did the Labour party receive in the 1979 general election, and how many did they gain/lose? And, what % of the vote did they receive?
% of popular vote: 36.9%
How many seats did the Liberal party receive in the 1979 general election, and how many did they gain/lose? And, what % of the vote did they receive?
% of popular vote: 14%
How long were the Tories in power for after the 1979 election?
What was the 1979 election called after?
It was called after James Callaghan's minority Labour government lost a vote of no confidence in the House of Commons
What happened to Labour during the 18 years of Conservative government?
They descended into a prolonged period of left/right infighting over policy until the reinvention of the party under Tony Blair.
What priority did both Tory and Labour manifestos in 1979 have?
To bring down inflation.
Where was Callaghan on the political spectrum with the Labour party?
He came from the centre right of left-wing politics. He resisted the left wing of the party. This was reflected by his manifesto.
What did Thatcher's manifesto (1979) contain?
- It contained little indication that she wanted to move the Party slightly further to the right
- Some mention of privatisation of industry
- No real mention of the crusade against the state sector that would take place
- This mitigated Callaghan's warning of a mass lurch to the right if the Tories won.
How did the Tories operate in the 1979 campaign? (3)
1 - They embraced modern advertising under the guidance of professional publicity specialists Gordon Reece and Tim Bell
2 - They embraced the use of billboards and photo opportunities - Thatcher was pictured doing everything from the tea tasting to holding a new-born calf
3 - Thatcher turned down the opportunity to undertake a live debate, which did not hinder her electoral appeal as no potential PM had ever done one before
What was the issue with Labour's campaign in 1979?
- It lacked finesse, and missed the finer points of presentation
- Callaghan did not engage with the media on a wide scale
What was the real impact of the 1979 campaign?
- It is hard to measure
- The Tories were leading in the polls throughout
- However, when voters were asked in 1979 who would make a better PM - Callaghan came ahead of Thatcher by 20 points on average
- It is clear that Thatcher embraced a more modern technique of publicity to great effect, however it was not the only reason for her election win
Callaghan's minority Labour government survived on constructing...
deals with smaller political parties.
Why was there a mistiming of the general election in 1979?
1976 saw the winter of discontent hit Britain, the governments policy to impose a limit of 5% on pay increases led to riots and strikes. Lorry drivers, health workers, and even one local authority - grave diggers - created a sense of national paralysis.
What happened to Callaghan, in relation to the media?
- Series of disastrous interviews with the media
- Asked constantly about the state of the country after the winter of discontent
- Dismissing questions - particularly in the interview with the Sun newspaper in 1979
- He alienated the public prompting the newspaper to run the headline 'Crisis, what crisis?
What was the Tories' new slogan for billboards?
'Labour isn't working'
What happened in relation to devolution, before the 1979 election?
Scottish and Welsh nationalists called for referendums on devolution. They took place and Scotland and they voted 'Yes'. However, it was abandoned by the government. This was also a factor in bringing down the Callaghan government.
How many seats did Labour receive in the 1997 general election, and how many did they gain/lose? And, what % of the vote did they receive?
% of popular vote: 43.2%
How many seats did the Conservatives receive in the 1997 general election, and how many did they gain/lose? And, what % of the vote did they receive?
% of popular vote: 30.7%
How many seats did the Liberal Democrats receive in the 1997 general election, and how many did they gain/lose? And, what % of the vote did they receive?
% of popular vote: 16.8%
Who was elected leader of Labour in 1983, after Michael Foote?
Neil Kinnock. He lost to Thatcher and then Major.
Who replaced Kinnock?
When was Blair elected as leader, following the death of John Smith?
What were the main features of the 1997 Labour Manifesto, that differed from previous ones?
- Labour rebranded itself as 'New Labour'
- Blair sought to move the party away from old-fashioned left leaning party policies that included: nationalisation, tax increases, strengthening of trade union power
Why did the middle-class vote for Labour increase, in 1997?
- They moved away from left-leaning policies in the manifesto
- This meant that the middle class were now looking on with interest to see what Labour had to say
What was new Labour's policy on crime?
- Blair had a no-nonsense approach to tackling the increasing crime
- This appealed to many voters
What links did new Labour have with businesses?
Blair kindled relationships with the business world, more than Labour had done previously.
What was new Labour's relationship with the press?
- Crucially, and indeed in stark contrast to 1979, new Labour won the endorsement of the greater part of the national press
- Including the Sun and The Times
What was new Labour's main goal in regards to schools?
- They wanted to reduce class sizes to 30