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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?

    Interestingly the death of Neave ( Thatcher's original mentor) had claims of a conspiracy from Enoch Powell and Tony Benn and some claims of MI5/6 involvement to avoid his allegedly planned shake up of those organisations
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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.
    Not so. The Liberal Democrats are a merger of two factions and currently it is the Orange Book wing which rules (wet liberal Tories), there's certainly a left wing element in the party but it does not make up a majority and with the left leaving the party in droves, it's future is on the center-right.

    (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?
    I'm going to assume this is a joke.

    Polls can be wrong and if you look on the day 2 of them actually went for a narrow Tory victory (ICM and Telegraph).

    Additionally looking at the image below you can see that the Tories were not far away from where they had being polling for a while and the Labour vote appeared to collapse on election day.




    (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.
    Being fair to them not only was the winning margin bigger but we got a higher share of the vote than Labour in 05, you can either blame boundaries in 05 or boundaries in 10 but one of these elections was skewed with.

    (Original post by TheBritishArmy)
    This re-branding and move towards the centre has already been done by Cameron since he took leadership of the party. It failed. Right-wingers are far less tolerant of change to key Tory party policies than left-wingers are to Labour's move to the centre/right. Tory supporters have taken no time at all to defect to UKIP, and plenty still within the party are voicing their discontent.

    Left-wingers, on the other hand, continue to blindly vote Labour despite the party's complete change in focus. Even the unions still plough fund into Labour, despite the fact that Blair openly despised them.
    This may be a silly suggestion but could this not be down to collectivist nature of the left versus the individualist nature of the right.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    Not really, I like seeing where the facts are not exactly credible and raising issues for closer examination. My opinion is that the '92 election deserves closer examination, not least because all of the polls beforehand showed Major well behind and because of his own comment on the night.
    Not so, bar 1 poll showing them 6 behind, all April polls were between -3 and 0.5 for the Tories. In addition to that there is a documented "shy Tory" vote.

    I admit that the scale of the victory was a suprise but that they won was not suprising.

    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/histori...tion-1987-1992

    On top of that, polls had them leading afterward (if it was fraud then they would not have).

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    (Original post by AlexandrTheGreat)
    Equally, the unions' man, Ed Milliband, routed his neoliberal, Blairite brother in the leadership contest. So why exactly is it not a party for the unions?
    And he only won because of a rather dubious electoral system that allows the unions to elect the leader.
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    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    There are a few myths about the 1992 election. It wasn't quite the shock that some people on here are describing.

    Labour were well ahead in the polls and on course for victory during 1990 due to the Poll Tax and unpopularity of Mrs Thatcher, then Major came in, the Poll Tax was scrapped, and during 1991 the Tories recovered. Also Kinnock was never really a very credible PM, which was a problem for Labour throughout his time as leader - so the closer it got to election time the more that became a factor when people started to envision him as leader.

    During late 1991 and early 1992, within Labour there was talk of replacing Kinnock with John Smith. Tony Blair was a big advocate of this - he was adamant that Labour would not win with Kinnock as leader, but Smith was too much of a loyalist to go for it. My personal suspicion is that Smith sensed he would only get one shot at the leadership, and that Labour were probably not quite there in the public's minds to win that election in 1992, so rather than have a few months as leader and lose an election he would be better having a full term in opposition after the election, as he was the likely successor to Kinnock.

    The election campaign of 1992 was the most exciting one in recent history because the outcome was so uncertain however, as the campaign went on, momentum ebbed away from Labour. Even Kinnock reflected after the election (before that Sheffield 'we're all right!' rally which was trying to maintain false hope), that he had sensed the public weren't with them. John Major had done much better during the election campaign with his soapbox campaigning, going out in the street doing ad lib speeches, and dealing with the hecklers, whilst Labour's campaign team kept Kinnock away from the public, he was put out in carefully choreographed TV appearances. I remember the press coverage during the time, was all around "can Labour overcome the obstacle of an unpopular leader and win the election anyway).

    In the last week of the campaign the expectation wasn't of a Labour victory. The expectation was for a hung parliament. Paddy Ashdown was unlikely to do a deal with the Tories like Clegg did, so it was about whether the Tories could sneak an overall majority, or miss out by a small enough majority to go in coalition with the Ulster Unionists, or whether it would be a hung parliament and Kinnock form a deal with the Lib Dems. The Lib Dems would have no doubt secured PR as part of that deal and Ashdown, a much more confident and powerful personality than Kinnock, would have been a very influential member of Cabinet.
    As always PROSM.

    The whole Kinnock vs Major thing could be a good analogue for Cameron vs Miliband if polls close enough.

    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    I think it's going to happen on both sides myself. The trade Unions are beginning to flex their muscles and attempt to take advantage of a weakened economy. 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.
    Unlikely.

    As much as many people on the right here paint Labour as Socialist (and i did think Ed was Red when elected) their voting record (failure to vote against the tax cut, benefit cuts and a few other things) points to the front bench at least being full of closet Blairites (they won't even repeal the health bill in full).

    If such a strike occurred then there will be division at the fringes but it will be condemned by the party at large.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    Nick Davies, writing in 1994. (He's still a journalist, he broke the Milly Dowler / phone hacking story.)
    http://www.nickdavies.net/1994/10/01...e-an-election/

    He explains how, all over the country, Conservative election agents were accused of messing with postal and proxy votes in marginal constituencies and how cases brought to court were dismissed by Tory magistrates.
    But isn't there claims about pro-labour voting fraud in Tower Hamlets
    There was an example of 10 people registered to vote in a 1 bed flat in Tower Hamlets!



    Btw do you believe in the NWO conspiracy?
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    (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.
    I think he meant that you don't have to sign to be bound by the OSA

    Even if you refuse to sign, you're still bound by it
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    (Original post by Bulbasaur)
    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.
    In that case there'd probably a dive to the Lib Dems, what people seem to forget (and a big reason for Cameron going liberal) is that there are massive swathes of southern England which are exclusively Tory-Lib Dem and after several elections it was getting to the point after 05 when there were fears that they could start losing their strongholds.

    (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".

    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.
    167 in 2001 i think and 66. in 2005.

    (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.
    The primary factors in the 1997 defeat were the Tory civil war and Blair. With an average leader and a unified party the Tories would have been the biggest party on the basis of the strong economy.
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    (Original post by cambio wechsel)
    I believe John Major became Sir John in 2005.


    Jesus but there's fun to be had with "I believe..." isn't there though?
    "I believe" is present tense, therefore "Sir John" is his name in the present tense too....
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    The primary factors in the 1997 defeat were the Tory civil war and Blair. With an average leader and a unified party the Tories would have been the biggest party on the basis of the strong economy.
    If I recall correctly, weren't the general public not going to risk having them in again due to the potential split worsening if the Tory party were reelected?
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    (Original post by Chad_Bronson)
    If I recall correctly, weren't the general public not going to risk having them in again due to the potential split worsening if the Tory party were reelected?
    Kind of but in this scenario they unified behind their Leader.

    The civil war not only made us be perceived as divided but worse still it provided a distraction from what was a strong economy (Blair said that we left him a "golden economy"). If we'd have gone into the election on the basis of the economy and perhaps an extension of some of our education policies against an average leader then at worst we'd have been the largest party.

    Of course that's not how history went though.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    The primary factors in the 1997 defeat were the Tory civil war and Blair. With an average leader and a unified party the Tories would have been the biggest party on the basis of the strong economy.
    I agree, although also after so long in office people get in the mood for change anyway. Major admits in his book that even in the glow of the 1992 victory he did think to himself that four election wins was stretching the elastic of democracy as far as it would go and it would be very difficult to win a fifth term.

    This was also relevant to the debate in the Labour party at the time. After the 1992 defeat, there were basically three schools of thought in the party:

    1) Labour are doomed, the Tory party is the natural party of government and Labour will never be more than a protest vote (a lot of the activists)
    2) Labour can win but only if it undertakes major change
    3) Labour just needs to keep going and one more heave will do it

    In the immediate aftermath of the election schools 1 and 2 were the most prominent, the main proponent of 2 being Tony Blair who was doing plenty of media interviews on this subject and this was the point he started to generate a high profile.

    But after a few months 3 became the dominant feeling in the party, as long as Labour didn't tear itself apart like in the 1980s the public would be ready for change.

    There is always the debate "what would have happened if John Smith had survived". I liked John Smith but there is a danger of turning him into a saint, people say "the best PM Britain never had" etc. He was just a competent and principled politician but he wasn't really dynamic or forward thinking. Labour would have won in 1997 under him with a lower majority than Blair, but I doubt Smith would have emulated Thatcher and won three in a row like Blair did.

    After Smith died and Blair won the leadership school 2 became the direction of the party, even if it wasn't the dominant feeling in the party, just because it was driven by Blair.
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    (Original post by AlexandrTheGreat)
    What are you talking about? The Tories failure to win a majority for the last two decades is not my personal view, it's historical fact.

    It's a good thing that human and civil rights are not a popularity contest, but even if they were, the loud, radical anti-marriage equality minority would be easily defeated.

    Ah yes; after years of trying to detoxify the brand, after decades without a clear electoral win, being 10 points behind labour in the polls... you think they should tack sharply to the right!? Where are all these mythical new votes going to come from?

    But I would hasten to add; I'm not going to stand in the Tories way if they think that's the best course. In fact, knock yourselves out. Follow your hearts.

    Perhaps he did it because it's the right thing to do?

    The electoral politics is clear; it was suicidal because there remain a significant, noisy minority of radical anti-family, anti-marriage right-wingers who will attack their party leader.

    At least he gave himself to a good cause, and it will be remembered as the one good, significant thing that happened 2010-2015. He did it with an eye on his legacy and the history books.
    No, I was arguing that you are wrong to equate Cameron's support of gay marriage with the lack of Tory success. People do not vote based on such issues. The economy is in the **** at the moment, that's the priority for voters. You seem to be seriously over-estimating the popularity of gay marriage. Its opponents are not a tiny minority. Besides, it's a non-issue anyway.

    The Tories would gain popularity if they moved to the right on the EU and immigration. If they had a coherent plan for growth they would win the next election easily if combined with the above.

    Many of UKIP's new supporters do not identify as right wing. People do not fit neatly into left/right boxes. There are millions of people who are fairly left-wing economically but oppose gay marriage, EU integration, immigration and the ECHR.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    Being fair to them not only was the winning margin bigger but we got a higher share of the vote than Labour in 05, you can either blame boundaries in 05 or boundaries in 10 but one of these elections was skewed with.
    I disagree insofar as I don't see it as skewed, and clearly nor has parliament or electoral boundary commissioners in the past.

    The reason is that the electoral system is not designed to be "fair" or designed to uphold the stability of the two party system. There are considerations that are equally important to having every constituency being exactly the same size.

    One is that keeping communities that are historically associated with one another in a single constituency is important, as is ensuring that constituencies actually make sense and map to historical and real geographic and demographic boundaries, not ripping up the historical fabric just to ensure "equality" between constituencies.

    If anyone is capable of understanding such an argument, a Conservative should.
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    (Original post by TheBritishArmy)
    No, I was arguing that you are wrong to equate Cameron's support of gay marriage with the lack of Tory success. People do not vote based on such issues

    The economy is in the **** at the moment, that's the priority for voters. You seem to be seriously over-estimating the popularity of gay marriage. Its opponents are not a tiny minority. Besides, it's a non-issue anyway
    This is quite typical of an opponent of gay marriage. As soon as they know they've lost the issue, the undermine the very institution they were claiming was absolutely vital and crucial. I would agree,though, that the economy is in the gutter thanks to the Tories and that their unpopularity has something to do with this.

    And gay marriage not popular? I'm sorry, you must be starkers. Politicians are falling all over themselves to endorse marriage equality, they can't do i quickly enough. Even GOP Senators are now endorsing it.

    Oh and the polls are quite clear about the popularity or lack of it. A supermajority of British voters approve, and the vast majority of people's whose opinions are actually valuable approve. Those opposed are a vocal and radical minority who are attempting to overturn what will be the law of the land.

    The Tories would gain popularity if they moved to the right on the EU and immigration. If they had a coherent plan for growth they would win the next election easily if combined with the above.
    Actually, you might well be right about the EU and immigration. But the Tories can't help themselves regards rewarding their rich mates and demonising anyone on welfare, and this is a huge blunder. The British people are hating their divisive rhetoric, and the Conservative Party is digging its own grave.

    Many of UKIP's new supporters do not identify as right wing. People do not fit neatly into left/right boxes. There are millions of people who are fairly left-wing economically but oppose gay marriage, EU integration, immigration and the ECHR.
    I think what you mean to say is that you oppose those four, and you believe that everyone else must as well. Certainly, I'd grant there is a niche of left-wing opposition to the EU and immigration, but that is rarely tied in with gay marriage. Unless you can provide a citation (just one) that these "millions" exist?
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    (Original post by The Mad Dog)
    And he only won because of a rather dubious electoral system that allows the unions to elect the leader.
    Considering you're not a member of the party, what reason or right do you have to criticise how a group of organisations conduct their private affairs? Do you think the state should intervene to tell organisations how they manage their internal elections?
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    (Original post by Chad_Bronson)
    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 socialist
    Certainly, he moved the party to the right. And this is not unprecedented in the history of the Labour Party. What is risible is the claim that this must be a permanent rightward shift and that Thatcher must be given credit, when we can see even now the Labour Party moving back leftwards and the neoliberals and Blairites having been routed.

    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.
    The Conservatives opposed every single one. I would agree; they are out of step with the times.
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    (Original post by pol pot noodles)
    I don't give a toss what Lord Ashcroft says, he can piss off back to Belize, the tax dodging muppet
    It was your side that told us he is so wonderful that he must be elevated to the exalted rank of Baron. But on this we agree; he's a tax-dodging bounder and he should piss off. I await the Conservative Party's action on this subject.

    It's an allusion to the fact that under him Labour have been basically bankrolled by hardline unions.
    By hardline unions? Unison and Unite are hardline? Tell us what else you know about uinons, this should be good for a laugh.

    The most hardline unions, like RMT, are not affiliated with the Labour Party. It's a common misconception, I'll grant you that.

    I suppose anyone who opposes abolition of all workers rights is clearly a communist and a member of the KGB.

    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?
    In the words of the great Mandy Rice-Davies; "[They] would say that, wouldn't [they]?".

    They're out of power in party terms and desperate to return to the days of neoliberal ascendency within the party. Personally, I tend not to take moral or political lessons from proven liars like Tony Blair. A man who, by the way, hears voices in his head and calls it a religious calling.

    It is interesting, though, to see that Tories hold Blair in such high esteem.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    The civil war not only made us be perceived as divided but worse still it provided a distraction from what was a strong economy (Blair said that we left him a "golden economy"). If we'd have gone into the election on the basis of the economy and perhaps an extension of some of our education policies against an average leader then at worst we'd have been the largest party.

    Of course that's not how history went though.
    Not only did it not happen, it's a counterfactual history which is the most useless of all speculation. It relies not on just one changed circumstance, but a bevy of changed circumstances all altered to suit the conclusion that the Tories could have won at least a plurality in that election.

    With respect, such an analysis is about as useful as a hat full of ********s. Not only does it bear no relation to what actually happened, not only is it unsupportable, not only is it complete speculation but it actually doesn't change anything in the present.

    The Conservatives had been in power for 18 years by 1997. They were 15-20 points behind in the polls for most of the Major government. Your claim simply defies the common sense that all governments have a natural lifespan and eventually get tired.
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    (Original post by AlexandrTheGreat)
    It was your side that told us he is so wonderful that he must be elevated to the exalted rank of Baron. But on this we agree; he's a tax-dodging bounder and he should piss off. I await the Conservative Party's action on this subject.
    My side? What is this, tribal warfare? It the Tories are being muppets and are straying from the path I'll put my hands up and say so. I'm not going to follow them blindly out of some misguided sense of party loyalty.

    (Original post by AlexandrTheGreat)
    By hardline unions? Unison and Unite are hardline? Tell us what else you know about uinons, this should be good for a laugh.

    The most hardline unions, like RMT, are not affiliated with the Labour Party. It's a common misconception, I'll grant you that.
    I stand corrected. Learn something new everyday.

    (Original post by AlexandrTheGreat)
    I suppose anyone who opposes abolition of all workers rights is clearly a communist and a member of the KGB.
    Absolutely :rolleyes:

    Abolition of all workers rights? I know you know that's not the goal of the Tory party. Melodramatic much?

    (Original post by AlexandrTheGreat)
    In the words of the great Mandy Rice-Davies; "[They] would say that, wouldn't [they]?".
    I can't believe you just used that. That's such a logical fallacy.


    (Original post by AlexandrTheGreat)
    They're out of power in party terms and desperate to return to the days of neoliberal ascendency within the party. Personally, I tend not to take moral or political lessons from proven liars like Tony Blair. A man who, by the way, hears voices in his head and calls it a religious calling.
    They're probably desperate to return to power I'd imagine. Oh and by the way, attacking religion for the sake of it isn't cool.
    I'd like to know who you would take moral and political lessons on, because I'd wager a pony that they've got skeletons in their closet.

    (Original post by AlexandrTheGreat)
    It is interesting, though, to see that Tories hold Blair in such high esteem.
    Wow, you come up with some really asinine conclusions.
    So, using your logic, you hold Lord Ashcroft in high esteem?
 
 
 
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