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Did Labour's landslide victory in 1997 mark a critical watershed in British party politics? Did the radical break with 18 years of Conservative rule reflect a fundamental change in the social and ideological basis of British voting behaviour? Critical Elections brings together leading scholars of parties, elections and voting behaviour to provide the first systematic overview of long-term change in British electoral politics.

Region: New Labour, New Geography?
Region: New labour, new geography?
JohnCurticeAlisonPark

Of all the statistics about the 1997 election it is the outcome in seats which gives us most reason to suspect that the election heralded a fundamental change in the structure of party competition. Labour secured its largest tally of seats ever, the Liberal Democrats emerged with more MPs than at any time since 1929, while the Conservatives only just managed to avoid doing even worse than their previous all-time low in 1906. Yet, despite the record swing of 10.3% from Conservative to Labour, none of these outcomes could have been anticipated from the overall movement of votes alone. If every seat had moved in line with the country as a whole, Labour's majority would have ...

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