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The United Kingdom general election in England was held on 1 May for English seats to the House of Commons. Under Tony Blair, the Labour.
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Meanwhile, there was also division amongst the Conservative cabinet, with Chancellor Kenneth Clarke describing the views of Home Secretary Michael Howard on Europe as "paranoid and xenophobic nonsense". Major veered between the two approaches, which left Conservative Central Office staff frustrated. As Andrew Cooper explained: "We repeatedly tried and failed to get him to understand that you couldn't say that they were dangerous and copying you at the same time. Labour ran a slick campaign, which emphasised the splits within the Conservative government, and argued that the country needed a more centrist administration.

Labour ran a centrist campaign that was good at picking up dissatisfied Tory voters, particularly moderate and suburban ones. Tony Blair , highly popular, was very much the centrepiece of the campaign, and proved a highly effective campaigner. The Labour campaign was reminiscent of those of Bill Clinton for the US Presidency, focusing on centrist themes, as well as adopting policies more commonly associated with the right, such as cracking down on crime and fiscal responsibility.

The influence of political "spin" came into great effect for Labour at this point, as media centric figures such as Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson provided a clear cut campaign, and establishing a relatively new political brand " New Labour " with enviable success. The Liberal Democrats had suffered a disappointing performance in , but they were very much strengthened in due to potential tactical voting between Labour and Lib Dem supporters in Tory marginal constituencies, particularly in the south - particularly given their share of the vote decreased while their number of seats nearly doubled.

The British General Election of 1997

The Lib Dems promised to increase education funding paid for by a 1p increase in income tax. The election was fought under new boundaries, with a net increase of eight seats compared to the election to Changes listed here are from the notional result, had it been fought on the boundaries established in These notional results were calculated by Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher and were used by all media organisations at the time.

Labour won a landslide victory with its largest parliamentary majority to date. On the BBC's election night programme Professor Anthony King described the result of the exit poll, which accurately predicted a Labour landslide, as being akin to "an asteroid hitting the planet and destroying practically all life on Earth".

After years of trying, Labour had convinced the electorate that they would usher in a new age of prosperity—their policies, organisation and tone of optimism slotting perfectly into place. Labour's victory was largely credited to the charisma of Tony Blair and a Labour public relations machine managed by Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson.

Between the election and the election there had also been major steps to modernise the party, including scrapping Clause IV that had committed the party to extending public ownership of industry. Labour had suddenly seized the middle ground of the political spectrum, attracting voters much further to the right than their traditional working class or left wing support. In the early hours of 2 May a party was held at the Royal Festival Hall , in which Blair stated that "a new dawn has broken, has it not?

The election was a crushing defeat for the Conservative Party, with the party having its lowest percentage share of the popular vote since under the Duke of Wellington 's leadership, being wiped out in Scotland and Wales. Such was the extent of Conservative losses at the election that Cecil Parkinson , speaking on the BBC's election night programme, joked upon the Conservatives winning their second seat that he was pleased that the subsequent election for the leadership would be contested.

The Liberal Democrats more than doubled their number of seats thanks to the use of tactical voting against the Conservatives.

Although their share of the vote fell slightly, their total of 46 MPs was the highest for any UK Liberal party since David Lloyd George led the party to 59 seats in The Referendum Party, which sought a referendum on the United Kingdom's relationship with the European Union , came fourth in terms of votes with , votes mainly from former Conservative voters, [ citation needed ] but won no seats in parliament.

In the previously safe seat of Tatton , where incumbent Conservative MP Neil Hamilton was facing charges of having taken cash for questions , the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties decided not to field candidates in order that an independent candidate, Martin Bell , would have a better chance of winning the seat, which he did with a comfortable margin. The result declared for the constituency of Winchester showed a margin of victory of just two votes for the Liberal Democrats. The defeated Conservative candidate mounted a successful legal challenge to the result on the grounds that errors by election officials failures to stamp certain votes had changed the result; the court ruled the result invalid and ordered a by-election on 20 November which was won by the Liberal Democrats with a much larger majority, causing much recrimination in the Conservative Party about the decision to challenge the original result in the first place.

This election marked the start of Labour government for the next 13 years, until the formation of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in All parties with more than votes shown.

Labour total includes New Labour and "Labour Time for Change" candidates; Conservative total includes candidates in Northern Ireland excluded in some lists and "Loyal Conservative" candidate. The Popular Unionist MP elected in died in , and the party folded shortly afterwards. Boundary changes at this election abolished several ministers' seats. The seats instead contested by those affected by the changes were largely close to their old seats. Michael Bates, for example, had previously represented Langbaurgh in the North East, the wards from which were mostly placed in Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland which Bates contested and lost , while some wards were placed in neighbouring Redcar.

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The poor results for the Conservative Party led to infighting, with the One Nation group, Tory Reform Group , and right-wing Maastricht Rebels blaming each other for the defeat. Party chairman Brian Mawhinney said on the night of the election that defeat was due to disillusionment with 18 years of Conservative rule. John Major resigned as party leader, saying "When the curtain falls, it is time to leave the stage". Despite receiving fewer votes than in , the Liberal Democrats more than doubled their number of seats and won their best general election result up to that point and a better such result than any achieved by its predecessor, the Liberal Party , since under David Lloyd George 's leadership.

Paddy Ashdown's continued leadership had been vindicated, despite a disappointing election, and they were in a position to build positively as a strong third party into the new millennium.

Tony Blair wins landslide general election win for Labour (1997) - Newsnight archives

With the huge rise in internet use since the previous general election, BBC News created a special website covering the election as an experiment for the efficiency of an online news service which was due for a launch later in the year. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Colours denote the winning party, as shown in the main table of results. Popular vote Labour.


  1. The British General Election of 1997.
  2. The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler;
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Parliamentary seats Labour. Prior to his resignation he had held the post of Leader of the Conservative Party since 28 November Retrieved 9 December BBC News. Retrieved 28 March House of Lords Hansard. Retrieved 21 June Retrieved 9 April The Guardian London. Study Notes. General Election - Introduction Study notes. General Election - Role of the Media Study notes. Subscribe to email updates from tutor2u Politics Join s of fellow Politics teachers and students all getting the tutor2u Politics team's latest resources and support delivered fresh in their inbox every morning.

You're now subscribed to receive email updates! Print page. Popular Content. Alex Singleton at UCL matched Census data to the new Westminster constituency boundaries used for the election. These census variables have now been added to the constituency results data-set, including the distribution of SES, occupational and industrial sectors, ethnic groups, religion, migrants, 'Acorn' groups, and types of households. The Code-book Census Data can also be downloaded for more details. Release date: 28 May It contains data on the social, economic and political characteristics of nations with over variables.

Release date: August It contains data on the social, economic and political characteristics of nations with over variables from to Note that you should check the original code-book for the definition and measurement of each of the variables. The period for each series also varies. This is the replication data-set used in the book, Driving Democracy. Release date: January Release date: May The zipped file is the fastest and easiest to download.

Book review: The British General Election of by Butler and Kavanagh

Release date: 21st June The Campaign Learning Experimental Study, Description: This is an experimental study by David Sanders and Pippa Norris designed to assess what people learn during the British election campaign from five different types of media TV news, broadsheet newspapers, tabloid newspapers, party election broadcasts, and party websites. Methods: The report summarizes the research design. To try the experiment before reading about their aims and design first complete the pre-test questionnaire, then read either the broadsheet newspaper compilation or browse the party website for about 30 minutes, then complete the post-test questionnaire.

You can analyze your response by comparing the pre- and post-test questionnaires. An executive report posting the key results of the analysis will be posted here in summer.

Bibliographic Information

Release date: July The aims and research design. The pre-test questionnaire 2a. The party website 2b. The broadsheet newspapers 3.