Key Elections



  • A turning point election that saw the arrival of Thatcher as PM. It marked the beginning of her Americanisation of politics. Thatcher paid attention to her image, her look and the way it was projected.
  • The Conservative advertising campaign was run by a top advertising agency, Saatchi and Saatchi
  • The slogan was 'Labour isn't Working'
  • Thatcher gained C2 votes, signs of partisan dealignment. This continued throughout the 1980s.
  • Labour was runied by the events of The Winter of Discontent. This toxified the Labour party for more than 10yrs.
  • The majority of 40 was a clear working majority
  • Thatcher was responsible for a move away from the post war consensus
  • Thatcher's victory was accurately predicted by the opinion polls
  • At this point, class was still clearly the key factor in voting behaviour
  • Media backing was a significant with the Murdoch and Sun strongly behind Thatcher
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  • This was a landslide victory with a majority of almost 200
  • Balir attracted middle class votes, of what is known as middle England. This indicated a degree of partisan dealignment
  • Like Thatcher, Blair had been able to capture C1 and C2 battleground votes
  • Blair has strong media backing including from Murdoch 
  • Blair had realised the importance of image and slogans - Education Education Education
  • Blair for the time being had been able to marginalise and isolate the hard left Bennite Corbynite wing
  • The Conservative party had been destroyed by divisions on the EU, division which were to continue. There was a strong element of factionalism.
  • Subsequent Tory leaders lacked charisma and credibility
  • The result had been accurately predicted by opinion polls
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  • Another turning point election that saw a breaking down of the Red Wall, adn therefore a great deal of partisan dealignment
  • Johnson got a large 80 seat majority
  • The personality factor was strong with revulsion against Corbyn
  • The Tory slogan of Get Brexit Done was effective. This was far more effective than May's Strong and Stable
  • The result was also strongly influenced by the Brexit issue
  • Labour's result was their worst since 1935
  • The majority was 80 giving elective dictatorship potentially to Boris Johnson
  • Social media was a clear influence but traditional media also played a role, the tabloid newspapers in particular
  • Age had become a more significant influence on voting behaviour than class
  • Partisan realignment was more important than class dealignment
  • The electorate seem to have rejected a hard left manifesto
  • The result had generally been accurately predicted in opinion polls, unlike in 2017
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