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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    During the election night, when the result was still far from clear, he said to camera, in a knowing voice, "I know we're going to win".

    Every exit poll and pre-election survey had him losing, especially in key marginals. There was an alleged 'late surge' of Tories in those marginals on the night.

    Just makes one wonder - is the count in this country always quite as clean, fair and untroubled as one hopes? Or do Florida things happen here sometimes? Surely that nice Mr Major wouldn't have stooped to using the MI5 his government had controlled since 1979 to serve their interests, would they?? Would they?
    Don't be ridiculous!



    It's Labour who need to worry, only one man has won for them since 1974.
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    "The election saw the Labour Party return 319 MPs, giving them the ability to form a majority government, albeit with a mere 3 seats. ... Labour's parliamentary majority eroded in the 1974-1979 parliament, through a series of by-election losses and defections, which led to deals with the Liberals, the Ulster Unionists, the Scottish nationalists and the Welsh nationalists having to be carried out."

    Not what I call "winning an election" it was definitely a testing time for all back then.
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    (Original post by meenu89)
    Ok, the point still stands. Kinnock thought he was going to win before a single vote was counted. He had a rally and said 'We're all right, we're all right..'
    I thought it was "well all right!". Either way the whole thing was incredibly cringey and probably cost him a few votes.
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    (Original post by Dombs)
    Liberal Democrats are not centre-right, they are classed as centre-left. That's why it was completely ridiculous for them to form a coalition with the Conservatives, as they have much more in common, politically, with the Labour Party.
    You are correct that the Lib Dems are centre-left, not centre-right. However, the idea of Labour + Lib Dems forming a coalition after the last election foundered on the rocks of reality - they did not have enough seats to form a majority. Also, many senior figures in the Labour party refused to support such a plan. Politics is the art of the possible, and there was only one viable combination for governing the country during this period of crisis. The Lib Dems have taken a lot of flak for co-operating with the Tories, but the public had spoken in a general election, and there was no serious alternative, except leaving a country in crisis with a minority government. That would not have been the responsible thing to do, IMO. Whether the Lib Dems will be hammered in 2015 for doing the right thing in 2010... only time will tell.
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    (Original post by AlexandrTheGreat)
    Ahh, twenty seats. If Labour comes in at 2001 levels, that's still a majority of 50-odd.

    But hey, I'm sure when Labour goes into the 2015 election with a ten point lead and comes out with a 50 seat majority, you'll still say it's communist plot and that YouGov has been infiltrated by Stalinists, and that all the psephologists are secret Trotskyites, and all the scrutineers are members of the SWP (especially the Conservative ones!).

    Don't let me get in the way of your conspiracy theories.
    It's not a conspiracy theory, it's a fact that the current boundaries favour Labour over the Tories. Heaven forbid I point that out! You being snarky and sarcastic and trying to make light of it doesn't negate my point.
    You're also a tad over optimistic if you think Ed Miliband can pull of a ten point, fifty seat majority.
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    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    I think it's going to happen on both sides myself
    I suspect that's wishful thinking.

    The trade Unions are beginning to flex their muscles
    Do they not have a right to?

    and attempt to take advantage of a weakened economy.
    How? A single example will suffice.

    I think if this general strike that is being talked about comes about we'll be seeing splits in Labour as even they've realised their old ways didn't work.
    Lucky then that there will be no general strike. Unison will not get on board, so it's not going to happen.
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    (Original post by AlexandrTheGreat)
    Incredible then that they've seen such a precipitous decline since, and that even after 13 years of Labour government, they couldn't win an outright majority.
    This problem lays in the FPTP system. In the 2010 election, if labour got 3% less of the vote than the Conservatives, it would most likely be the Labour Party who win it. It's all to do with the way the boundaries work. In 2005, Labour won 35% of the vote but had a strong majority. In 2010, the Conservatives won 36% but needed to form a coalition.

    I think it's more the above factor, than anything else, which will lead to them never winning another parliamentary election.

    Still, if this just means continuous years of labour government - then under a democratic system, that is eventually likely to break too. How long can a country stay electing just one party? 18 years, it seems, before a landslide majority to the opposition is gained (i.e. Labour in 1997). I suspect something simialr would happen if the Tories couldn't win an election for that length of time - that and Labour are bound to do something horribly wrong eventually.
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    (Original post by AlexandrTheGreat)
    Do you really need to start off with ad hominem? Is it possible you failed to understand the post? Or can we retract the claws and just debate?
    You've overreacted: it wasn't meant in an ad hominem spirit. Very few people have analysed the post-Maggie history of our politics so it's a reasonable assumption that knowledge may be lacking. My own certainly is.

    We would be in agreement that the Tories are often divided. But they've never been divided like they are now, and they've never been in the position of having to fight a mass-movement party to the right of them like UKIP.

    The implication of the post was that UKIP will be the Conservatives SDP.
    I agreed with the UKIP bit of it, but the Tories have been wayy more divided. Major defeated a 1993 motion of no confidence and a 1995 leadership election. IDS got kicked out in 2003 with another motion of no confidence.

    That would be if you can count New Labour as a Thatcherite party. And leaving aside Labour's 5 years in power in the 1970s. Considering there's really no basis in policy to do so, I guess we can leave that aside.
    Labour's majority of three, a bit like the 1970s as a whole, was wobbling on the tightrope. It quickly succumbed through by-elections and the like and by 1977 was in coalition. I would contend that New Labour was a Thatcherite (or at least "post-Thatcher") party; Blair leader from 1994, Clause IV removed in 1995. Long before that too I hear Kinnock was moving right.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    signing the OSA has always been taken to mean you are bound by it.
    The point is that you are bound by it whether you sign it or not. Signing it merely indicates you have specifically had your attention drawn to its provisions. It applies to you, who have probably not signed it, just as much as it applies to me, who has.
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    Does it matter? There are no particularly radical lines drawn in the sand any more between any of the parties.

    They all agree that the state is roughly the right size, they all agree that spending is roughly at the right level, they all agree taxation is more or less at a good level, they all agree that immigration levels could be dropped slightly.

    The difference between parties these days revolve around minor differences in delivering policy programs, and slightly different ideas in delivering public services. Politics has got awfully boring now it revolves around political jargon and is the game of technocratic career politicians who are steadily developing their own elite political class in this supposedly wonderful system of social democracy.
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    (Original post by pol pot noodles)
    It's not a conspiracy theory, it's a fact that the current boundaries favour Labour over the Tories
    You do realise that there are considerations independent of "Does this favour one party or the other"? You do realise that when deciding electoral boundaries, Commissions do not say to themselves "How can we ensure the stability of the two-party system".

    It's a complex blend of trying to create a system with constituencies of similar size, while also allowing communities and populations which have historically associated to remain associated in that way.

    Your assertion might better be expressed as; "the people in some of the smaller constituencies favour Labour".

    You're also a tad over optimistic if you think Ed Miliband can pull of a ten point, fifty seat majority.
    Fifty seat majority isn't exactly enormous. Labour had, what, 85 seat majority in 2001? And ten points; Ed Milliband is already ten points ahead, fifteen in some polls.
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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    I agreed with the UKIP bit of it, but the Tories have been wayy more divided. Major defeated a 1993 motion of no confidence and a 1995 leadership election. IDS got kicked out in 2003 with another motion of no confidence
    The critical difference is that the Tory right can actually walk out this time and join UKIP. They've never had that option.

    I would contend that New Labour was a Thatcherite (or at least "post-Thatcher") party; Blair leader from 1994, Clause IV removed in 1995.
    Clause IV wasn't removed, it was amended. It was amended to something which, for the first time, stated that Labour was a democratic socialist party. It was intended by Blair to demonstrate that he was firmly in control, in practical terms of the Labour party it means nothing.

    It's worth reading the both the unamended and amended version.

    Long before that too I hear Kinnock was moving right.
    The Labour Party has always had left and right factions. Hugh Gaitskill was easily to the right of Kinnock, and he was party leader in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
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    (Original post by AlexandrTheGreat)
    You do realise that there are considerations independent of "Does this favour one party or the other"? You do realise that when deciding electoral boundaries, Commissions do not say to themselves "How can we ensure the stability of the two-party system".

    It's a complex blend of trying to create a system with constituencies of similar size, while also allowing communities and populations which have historically associated to remain associated in that way.

    Your assertion might better be expressed as; "the people in some of the smaller constituencies favour Labour".
    I'm not commenting on the considerations of boundaries, I'm stating a fact that they currently favour Labour over the Tories. That's it. I don't really care about why they are as they are or your justification for it. It's really not that hard of a concept to understand.

    Fifty seat majority isn't exactly enormous. Labour had, what, 85 seat majority in 2001? And ten points; Ed Milliband is already ten points ahead, fifteen in some polls.
    Are you actually comparing Blair and New Labour of 2001 to Red Ed and Labour of 2013? If Miliband get 375 seats I'll eat my hat.
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    (Original post by AlexandrTheGreat)
    Clause IV wasn't removed, it was amended. It was amended to something which, for the first time, stated that Labour was a democratic socialist party. It was intended by Blair to demonstrate that he was firmly in control, in practical terms of the Labour party it means nothing.

    It's worth reading the both the unamended and amended version.

    The Labour Party has always had left and right factions. Hugh Gaitskill was easily to the right of Kinnock, and he was party leader in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
    Sort of, I think Blair's amendment to Clause IV was to make it public to the electorate that Blair had reformed the Labour party from the extreme-left under Foot, slightly left under Kinnock, to a center-center right party.

    The Labour party's failure was they had very many unpopular and unelectable policies under Foot / Kinnock, and suffered as a result. Blair changed that in order to become electable; and what we actually got was a very weak Tory party who alienated the working class slightly by appealing to new voters in the South, and the middle class.

    Labour probably would have won without Blair at the helm - people were becoming bored and alienated of the Conservative government that controlled them for nearly two decades. Blair's charisma and desire to modernise politics meant Labour had won by a landslide.
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    (Original post by Chad_Bronson)
    Sort of, I think Blair's amendment to Clause IV was to make it public to the electorate that Blair had reformed the Labour party from the extreme-left under Foot, slightly left under Kinnock, to a center-center right party.

    The Labour party's failure was they had very many unpopular and unelectable policies under Foot / Kinnock, and suffered as a result. Blair changed that in order to become electable; and what we actually got was a very weak Tory party who alienated the working class slightly by appealing to new voters in the South, and the middle class.

    Labour probably would have won without Blair at the helm - people were becoming bored and alienated of the Conservative government that controlled them for nearly two decades. Blair's charisma and desire to modernise politics meant Labour had won by a landslide.
    I agree with all that (excepting labelling Labour under a centre-centre-right party). The original claim was that Labour hasn't won an election since 1966.

    In light of their election victories, in fact, and their vast programme of reform (everything from the Human Rights Act to the Equality Act, the Minimum Wage, reforming the Lords in large part, TULRCA amendment orders and anti-discrimination legislation, repeal of Section 28, civil partnerships), I really don't see how they could be in any sense called a Thatcherite Party (at least, with any plausibility).

    The influence of Thatcher on the Labour Party is overstated; as I said, Gaitskell was to the right of Kinnock and he was leader in the 50s and 60s.
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    (Original post by pol pot noodles)
    I'm not commenting on the considerations of boundaries, I'm stating a fact that they currently favour Labour over the Tories. That's it. I don't really care about why they are as they are or your justification for it. It's really not that hard of a concept to understand.
    Then what are you complaining about? Perhaps if the Tories spent more time explaining their blatantly misguided policies, and less time complaining about the political environment and the circumstances and bad luck, they might be just a little bit more popular in the country.

    Are you actually comparing Blair and New Labour of 2001 to Red Ed and Labour of 2013? If Miliband get 375 seats I'll eat my hat.
    It was Lord Ashcroft who said that they're to take a 93 seat majority if the Conservatives don't alter course.

    By the way, how is Ed Milliband red? Or is that just something that puerile adolescents say?
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    (Original post by Dombs)
    Liberal Democrats are not centre-right, they are classed as centre-left. That's why it was completely ridiculous for them to form a coalition with the Conservatives, as they have much more in common, politically, with the Labour Party.
    If they joined with labour, we'd still have gordon
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    Two points: (a) returning officers are (and were) nearly always local government officers, not civil servants and (b) obligations under the Official Secrets Act apply to everyone; signing it (contrary to the common belief) is not a condition for being bound by it and there is no such process as swearing on it.
    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    A lot of them are former civil servants (especially in Counties and especially in those days, when many were also High Sheriffs) who have previously signed the OSA - it's binding for life. Not sure what you mean about the other part, signing the OSA has always been taken to mean you are bound by it.
    Hilarious. You are bound by the Official Secrets Act whether you sign 'it' or not - the only reason you sign a dotted line is to effectively waiver negligence. Joe Bloggs finding some classified documents on a train can get away with handing them over to a BBC reporter because they aren't expected to know what to do with them. If you were involved in an MI5 conspiracy to rig a general election, I hardly think anyone would be worried about you knowing what the OSA details.

    After all, you're committing great crimes by rigging the election.

    Besides, the intelligence services have had whistle-blowing procedures for goodness knows how long. You would have heard by now.
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    (Original post by AlexandrTheGreat)
    Then what are you complaining about? Perhaps if the Tories spent more time explaining their blatantly misguided policies, and less time complaining about the political environment and the circumstances and bad luck, they might be just a little bit more popular in the country.
    What am I complaining about? I just bloody told you, the fact that the current boundaries favour Labour and no one bats an eyelid, when if it was the other way round blatantly the left would be up in arms. I'm not going to get into an ideological debate with someone clearly so pretentious as yourself, so stop trying to bait me.

    It was Lord Ashcroft who said that they're to take a 93 seat majority if the Conservatives don't alter course.
    I don't give a toss what Lord Ashcroft says, he can piss off back to Belize, the tax dodging muppet.

    By the way, how is Ed Milliband red? Or is that just something that puerile adolescents say?
    It's an allusion to the fact that under him Labour have been basically bankrolled by hardline unions.
    But since you want to start name dropping, have you not been listening to what Blair and other senior Labour figures have been saying? Warning Ed not to steer hard left?
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    (Original post by AlexandrTheGreat)
    I agree with all that (excepting labelling Labour under a centre-centre-right party). The original claim was that Labour hasn't won an election since 1966.
    There is no doubt, however, that Blair moved his party to the centre / centre right as he ditched many of Labour's old policies as he reformed the parties. What Labour did, under Blair, was pick out many of the Tory policies that were successful, and merged it with a new socialis

    (Original post by AlexandrTheGreat)
    In light of their election victories, in fact, and their vast programme of reform (everything from the Human Rights Act to the Equality Act, the Minimum Wage, reforming the Lords in large part, TULRCA amendment orders and anti-discrimination legislation, repeal of Section 28, civil partnerships), I really don't see how they could be in any sense called a Thatcherite Party (at least, with any plausibility).
    Would these reforms have happened with our without Blair / Labour? Times have shifted since then; and I do genuinely believe society would have moved along with the times.
 
 
 
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