• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What happened in the 1997 General Election and why? What impact did it have?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What happened in the 1997 General Election and why? What impact did it have? In 1997 there was an expected swing from Conservative to Labour government. It resulted in Labour receiving 9.2% more votes, and 147 more MPs than in 1992; and with the Conservatives winning 11% less votes, and 171 less MPs than in 1992 (the Liberal Democrats won 17% of the votes about equalling the previous election, and gained 26 seats). The outcome of the election was due to various factors which had always been apparent yet commentators never predicted the severity of Labour's win and the Conservative's loss. Blatantly, the first reason for this landslide victory was the weakness of the Conservatives. Broadly put, the reasons the electorate DID NOT vote for the Conservative party were that they seemed, old, tired, divided and sleazy. This can be seen in that the average age of a Conservative MP was over 50 and 44% of over 65s voted for them, their campaigning was limited, there was internal conflict over many issues such as the Economy and Europe. ...read more.

Middle

This means that it stops the Conservatives getting seats (Labour was not worried that the Liberal Democrats may gain seats, as they were the third party and were not a threat). This may, then, account for the 100% (20 to 46) increase in Liberal Democrat seats while their % share of the vote went down 1%! The work of the Labour Party members also paid dividends. The increasing number of young members working all over the country opposed to the reduced ageing membership of the Conservatives meant Labour could campaign all over the country while the Conservatives were stretched. Finally, Labour had the media on its side, a priceless tool. While Labour could do very little wrong, The Conservatives were constantly on the front page for scandals involving Neil Hamilton and Michael Portillo. Essentially, the Labour Party capitalised on their % share of the vote. Though their huge majority in the House of Commons is due to a variety of reasons: The problems faced by the Conservatives, the reforming and repositioning of labour, electoral geography, Labour's campaign tactics, tactical voting and Labour's party membership. ...read more.

Conclusion

This included asylum seekers and the Euro, which were not generally important to the electorate. Whereas Labour and the Liberal Democrats concentrated on more important issues such as NHS and education. There was less than a 2% swing from Labour to Conservatives, and overall there was little change from 1997. The huge apathy in 2001, shows a trend that in 1997 it was an Anti-Tory election, and in 2001 it was Anti-any party election. This may have been mainly due to party de-alignment where they basically all have the same policies (Labour are said to be as right as the Tories). This election has shown the parties that less people are interested, and so political participation has been high on the agenda. All parties have also tried to distinguish themselves, and make promises that will actually change people's lives (they say) for the better. It has ended with more conflict in the House of Commons, and promise of reform in the future (Euro still at Tony Blair's discrepancy). Desperate to set his party apart, it could be possible that the PM thinks a victory in Iraq will improve his standings and cause less apathy with more support for his party. Chris Williams Pol 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. The Impact of Electoral Design on the Legislature.

    The PM elements allow for direct representation, while the PR elements allow for some minority representation, more voter choice and party accountability (as described below). Because there are fewer and more distinctly different parties, this system discourages coalition governments, allowing for a stronger and more coherent parliamentary opposition.

  2. Why did Labour lose the 1951 General Election?

    Just by losing a core of middle class voters, Labour lost a great many marginal contests and most particularly in the well-to-do constituencies of southern and south-eastern England. Following Cripps' resignation on grounds of ill health, Hugh Gaitskell took over as Chancellor during Attlee's second government.

  1. The position of the New Labour government with Tony Blair ahead of that government.

    For example, the New Labour government could renationalise privatised industries (while this is exactly what could do the previous socialist governments, as they believed in the organisation of society through "rational planning rather than by relying on market forces"), however this could become unpopular within the millions of new shareholders

  2. Liberal Democrats on iraq

    As our intelligence services warned prior to the conflict, it may have increased the international terrorist threat to the UK and other Western states. � Humanitarian deprivation Public services have been badly disrupted; thousands of Iraqis still experience serious shortages of food, water, sanitation, medicines, and electricity; and levels of unemployment remain high.

  1. Should the 1997 general election be viewed as a 'critical election'?

    issues concerning Europe with the left wing Conservatives wanting more involvement and integration with the European Union. This can be seen as one of the major contributors to the decline in the party, "Conservatives were now seen as "being out of touch with modern Britain" and "going on too much

  2. Should the 1997 general election be viewed as a 'critical election'?

    Labour moved away from its image as the 'tax and spend' party. Blair showed his intention of change when the party challenged trade unions, traditionally Labour were considered to be over dependent on trade unions particularly regarding funding, allowing the unions to much power and influence over the party.

  1. Asylum seekers

    Asylum seekers are given money in order to purchase food and other goods. * Some claimants are removed to another EU countries to pursue their claim, if that country is responsible for the claim. Some other claimants are removed in order to pursue their claim in a safe country outside

  2. The 1906 General Election saw a convincing Liberal landslide of 399 Liberal seats to ...

    saw Britain corner the world market. In terms of empire Britain dominated the globe, and, in 1900, was fighting a successful and popular war against the Boers. Rejoicing in the streets in 1900 at the liberation of Mafeking from siege by the Boers had been so great, that it had led to the creation of the term 'mafeking' meaning celebration.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work