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To what extent did “The longest suicide note in history” contribute to Conservative victory in the 1983 General Election?

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Introduction

To what extent did "The longest suicide note in history" contribute to Conservative victory in the 1983 General Election? For the Conservative Party, the 1983 General Election victory would have seemed to be another political triumph. However, many argue that this particular victory was aided by many factors which the 'Tories could not have controlled. I will look at and analyse the General Election results as well as other major factors such as the battle in the South Atlantic, the state of the Labour Party, the public opinion of Thatcher, and other personal triumphs for the Conservatives as a whole. By looking at election results and the other factors mentioned I will show that uncontrollable factors were as much to hold responsible for the Conservative victory as the 'Tories were themselves. There were many successes to the Conservative Party during the late 1970's and mid- 1980's. Under Margaret Thatcher, the Conservatives had achieved three general election victories on the trot, in 1979 and 1983 then again in 1987. ...read more.

Middle

She almost wants to be seen as a Churchill figure recognising herself as a major victor in war times. Thatcher used the battle in the South Atlantic to promote Great Britain's magnitude. One of the other factors, which could be said to be a turning point in the election, was the current state of the Labour Party. "The Left, however, were torn."[3] In 1980, Michael Foot became new leader of the Labour Party. He was a hard-line socialist and left-winger, whose policies were to lead to a massive split in the lefts share of the vote. Opposition to Foot's socialist Splits within the Labour party led to the formation of the SDP, led by David Owen. In addition, one of the SPD's key members had formed a pact with the Liberal's known as the Alliance. The Labour party was in major decline, losing voters to the Alliance and Conservatives. There were many views about why the Labour party was in such disarray. ...read more.

Conclusion

It called for "a limited number of radical and striking measures, rather than irritating clutches of minor ones."[5] On the other hand though, the Labour manifesto, entitled The New Hope For Britain was not portraying the Labour party as good as it probably could have done. "...Presenting themselves as a party at war with themselves, led by an unworldly, ageing idealist. It was too detailed in places, too woolly in others and threatened to disband Britain's nuclear forces unilaterally and take Britain out of the EEC."[6] According to Healey "our electoral campaign was the worse organised than any I have known." This manifesto was seen as a major radical overhaul from the Labour party, as people did not want to see such radical changes after Thatcher's changes. The results of the General Election on June 9th 1983 show that the Conservative's had a huge majority of the vote. As you can see from the graph[7], the Conservatives achieved largest landslide victory in post-war Britain with 397 seats, the Labour Party with 209 seats and the Alliance with 23 seats. ...read more.

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