Book Report On: A Geddes And J Tonge (Editors), "Britain Decides". The Uk General Election 2005 (Palgrave)

1130 words - 5 pages

This book tells the story of Labour's third victory. Geddes and Tonge describe this election as a "rather dull campaign that produced some rather intriguing results" . In this book review I aim to summarise the main points which they have raised which justifies this description of the election and then to offer a critical analysis of these points.The outcome of this general election was that Labour's majority was slashed and this has been mainly due to Tony Blair's credibility being battered thanks to the Iraq war. The Iraq war issue proved to be highly divisive. There was an almost exactly equal split within the UK on whether or not the government was justified to intervene in Iraq. This ...view middle of the document...

Neither the Liberal Democrat nor the Conservative party made any attempt to exploit this for certain reasons. (Steven Fielding)Iain Duncan Smith was forced to relinquish his role as leader of the Conservative Party in late 2003, Michael Howard was there waiting to take his place. Howard reinvigorated the party but his arrival and everything that was expected of him overshadowed the big issues that remained associated with the party's image. They did not disappear. The Conservative's campaign was criticised as being too negative, Geddes and Tonge argue that this was perhaps a bit excessive. The fact that the Conservatives backed the Iraq war and the economy situation was as it was then it was only natural that they would turn to immigration and asylum as their key issues. They basically failed to project a positive, visionary image encased in a minimalist manifesto. It was also surprising that Howard, being the successful Home Secretary which he was, did not place a greater emphasis on law and order. (Philip Cowley and Jane Green)The Liberal Democrats faced the 2005 elections in an exciting position. Thanks to the governments declining popularity and the opposition party's low 30s in the percentage pools they had the capability of making a huge breakthrough. They saw a substantial in the percentage of votes, however their increase of eleven seats was a disappointment. This situation was a perfect example of the flawed first-past-the-post-system. In multi-party politics the ancient electorate system is not sufficient. Their position was slightly to the left of labour and this meant that they lost some seats to the Conservatives in the south. Since the elections they have made a reappraisal of policy. However it is not expected to last long because they are likely to lose seats in the north if they move further to the right. (Edward Fieldhouse and David Cutts)The targeting of marginal seats is a relatively new phenomenon and was very evident in this election battle. The targeting of marginal seats involves certain key areas being bombarded by campaigning and other areas of the country not being targeted at all. These supposed key election...

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