The Labour Party 1979 - 1983

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  • The Labour Party 1979 - 1983
    • Personalities
      • personality clashes caused a divisive campaign to succeed Callaghan
      • Dennis Healey was defeated by Micheal Foot
      • Michael Foot was more left-wing than previous leaders
      • Neil Kinnock later did much to unite the party but also struggled to measure up to Thatcher
    • A Two-Party System
      • British politics is basically a duopoly
      • the SDP phenomenon was a short-lived one
      • once Lab. became less extreme in the mid/late 1980s support for the SDP faded
      • SDP having two leaders (David Owen & David Steel) was also confusing for voters
    • The Formation of the SPD
      • 'Gang of Four'
        • David Owen
        • Shirley Williams
        • Bill Rodgers
        • Roy Jenkins
      • four top Lab. figures quit Lab. Party in 1981
        • they felt Lab. was now too left-wing & unelectable
      • they formed a new centre party the Social Demoractic Party or SDP
        • 28 other Lab. MPs joined
      • they formed an alliance with the Liberal Party & came very close to Lab's share of the vote in the 1983 election
      • the SDP was the biggest new development in Uk politics for decades
    • following the collapse of Callaghan's govt & the 'Winter of Discontent' Lab. would be out of power for 18 years & have 4 different leaders
    • Party would eventually re-align itself in the centre ground & it eventually came to accept many of the policies of the Thatcher govt. e.g. privatisation


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