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The Conservative Party - Exam Style Questions

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The Conservative Party - Exam Style Questions A. What does the Conservative Party stand for? The Conservative Party stands for patriotism, having respect and pride for the country we live in, keeping the United Kingdom as a 'union', and putting Britain's interests first. Tories also have a respect for British traditions and values, such as a respect for the Monarchy and the Church of England. However they think pragmatically, they are willing to change but they are suspicious of change, especially dramatic change, thus they prefer evolution to revolution. Also, the Conservatives stand for having a strong but limited, Government, meaning they feel that the Government should be powerful, but they should also intervene with people's lives less. This is done by taxing people less, allowing them to have more of their own money to spend on what they want. The Tories prefer to tax people indirectly, by means of value added tax (VAT) for example. This ties in with another Conservative belief, that people should have freedom of choice so long as it is within reason of the law. Following on from this, the Conservative Party stands for strict law and order, by insisting that people should abide by the law, and that those who don't shall receive longer and tougher sentences/punishments. ...read more.


In more recent years, Margaret Thatcher introduced a right-wing Conservative agenda, yet she was remarkable at winning working class votes. In conclusion, despite the trouble that the most recent Conservative Prime Minister, John Major, had for the a large part of his time in power, and the fact that they have been in opposition since the 1997 general election, the Tories have had many great leaders in the past, and have been the Governing party for much longer than any other party. C. Why did the Conservative Party suffer such a devastating defeat in the election of 1997? John Major became Prime Minister in 1990 as Margaret Thatcher's successor, and won the 1992 general election, despite a predicted labour Government or hung Parliament by many. However, he only won by a majority of 21 seats, a factor that would later cause the Conservatives many problems. Shortly after the election, on 'Black Wednesday' September 1992, the chancellor, Norman Lamont, was forced to take the pound out of the EMS, devaluing the pound massively and crippling the Conservatives reputation as being able to handle the economy competently. ...read more.


In light of all the criticism John Major asked his oppositions to 'put up or shut up', and he allowed for a Parliamentary election to decide on the Prime Minister. Many felt that this decision had left the party in limbo when they needed strong and decisive leadership, so Thatcher and much of the Conservative press backed John Redwood, who resigned from the cabinet in order to stand against Major. Although Major won by a clear majority, and received just over his target of votes, therefore retaining the position of Prime Minister, it showed that many people in the Government opposed Major, damaging his reputation. The final factor that caused Conservatives devastating defeat in 1997 is that Tony Blair, the 'new' labour party leader Tony Blair appeared to be firm and strong, while and the same time the Conservatives were further dogged by sleaze stories. Also, after calling a general election, Major refused to show the 'Faust' video as part of the Conservative campaign, which showed Blair making false promises, and he opted to talk about his policies rather than making personal attacks on Blair as advised. Because of all these problems that Major faced, as well as a hugely successful 'new' labour campaigned led by Tony Blair, the Conservatives suffered a landslide defeat. ...read more.

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