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

Why did Labour win the 2001 election?

Extracts from this document...


Why did Labour win the 2001 election? In 2001 the Labour party won the General Election, obtaining 413 seats as opposed to the Conservatives' 166. The Liberal Democrats gained 6 seats to take their total to 52. Other parties got 9 seats in parliament. This was a widely expected result, and showed maintained vast support for Labour since the 1997 election. In order to establish why the Labour Party won the election in 2002, a number of points have to be considered. The conservative party leader from 1997-2001 was William Hague. In recent years presidential style elections (focussing on the party leader as opposed to the party) have been predominant in general elections. Therefore, the image and personality of the candidate has become ever more important. In the 1987 election for example, Margaret Thatcher was seen as a strong, vibrant, stable communicator. The public favoured her to Kinnock who was labelled indecisive and unattractive. Needless to say, Margaret Thatcher won. In 2001, the public favoured Blair 44% compared to 13% for William Hague in an opinion poll asking who would be the better leader. In 1997, 50% of Labours political broadcasts on television were based around the party leader and 2001 followed this trend. Therefore, people were more likely to vote for Labour because they had the better and more charismatic leader, Tony Blair, as opposed to William Hague. ...read more.


The Labour party had achieved the lowest unemployment rates since the mid 1970s and this pleased the working classes and secured the employed voters for another election. The fact the unemployment levels had decreased filled people with hope that Labour could futhur decrease unemployment if they were in power for another term. They had no reason to believe Labour would slacken on their employment policy and therefore no reason to take a gamble and change the party in power. The reason people decide not to vote for the party in power again is based on the levels of satisfaction with what the party have achieved, and as the Labour party had not decreased employment, the people voted again for them, and hence they won the 2001 election. The employment situation was perhaps more of a factor of why the party won than the influence of the press. People in employment would have been more likely to vote Labour because they were satisfied than just because a newspaper said so. Voters were directly benefiting from employment levels whereas they were not directly benefiting from newspaper propaganda. The economy was doing well in other areas aside from employment. The party could boast the lowest inflation rates since the early 1970s and the lowest interest rates for thirty years. This pleased the middle class voters and made them want to vote labour again, because they both were pleased with the party's achievements so far and also had no reason to take a gamble on voting for a party who might not maintain the Labour party's good work. ...read more.


Therefore, party errors meant that the conservatives did not gain much support because they did not tackle issues that were important to people. They also gave the wrong impression about their Europe beliefs "...that did give the impression the party was shrill and extremist" Lord Britten. The party focused so predominantly on Europe that people thought they were extreme and hence preferred the Labour party. They were not made aware of any conservative policies that were much different from the Labour party's policies, and hence did not see why they should vote for a similar but historically less successful party. This meant that Labour did not have a genuine competitive opposition. The opposition the conservatives offered was not very strong and so they were effectively not challenged. This meant that the Labour Party won the 2001 election easily. In conclusion, the Labour Party did not do anything drastically good in their four years in power, but the conservatives lacked sufficient momentum to do anything radical or propose changes that would swing voters back from Labour voting. The conservatives had a legacy of recent failure behind them and a leader who was not particularly appealing to the public so they could not gain support easily. In addition to this the Labour party did not displease any particular sector of their voters. Although voting turnout went down, this did not affect the Labour Party and hence they easily won the election comfortably, as the situation had not changed a great deal since their first great victory in 1997. -- Ruth Naughton-Doe ...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. Why did Labour lose the 1951 General Election?

    Gaitskell had imposed upon the health service prescription charges for glasses and false teeth, which to Bevan and other NHS idealists represented the betrayal of NHS founding principals. This split was a key moment in the demise of Attlee's government.

  2. What, other than the personal beliefs of Margaret Thatcher was there to Thatcherism?

    In reality these policies were improvised in reaction to particular contingencies and were not part of a grand schema laid out years previously. These critiques of Thatcherism are powerful but they do not destroy the concept, the sheer volume of media and debate on the subject suggests Thatcherism was or is real.

  1. Did the Labour Party show that it could govern Britain competently in the years ...

    Government revenue plummeted as fewer people were paying taxation; but government expenditure, especially on unemployment benefit, rose steeply. Most traditional thinkers believed that the country could not go on living beyond its means and that the only viable option was to cut expenditure and balance the budget, even though this would mean reducing benefit.

  2. Is New Labour a Conservative Party?

    Increasing numbers of council houses were sold to their tenants, the cash generated from the sale of these houses and the public companies served to ease the massive budget deficit considerably. In the above, Thatcher handed over power to others such as shareholders to help the economy grow.

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

    unemployment was more free market, while the job of government was to use interest rates to get rid of inflation. For example, contrary to Heath, who panicked when unemployment nearly reached one million in 1972 and brought the "U-turn", Thatcher did not turn ("You turn if you want.

  2. Why were the 1930's a decade of disappointment for the labour party?

    This officially proves conservative dominance and publicly denounces Labour as a favourite party. The conservatives had the majority support of the public making them the strongest and most powerful party in government. For this reason conservative dominance is an important cause for disappointment because if one party holds such a

  1. "Tony Blair has been criticised by some for being a Tory Prime Minister leading ...

    It is thought that this stops them from concentrating on policy and costs a huge amount of money. The current labour government believe that a simple solution is to sell to the private sector.

  2. How successful was the 1945-51 labour government.

    The conservatives offered Labour a coalition government before the election, Labour turned this down and ran a successful campaign, which made them appear strong and capable. They were also optimistic and looked to the future creating a new society, which contrasted to the conservatives as they were always looking in the past.

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