Book Report on: A Geddes and J Tonge (editors), "Britain Decides". The UK General Election 2005 (Palgrave)

Essay by solope1984University, Bachelor'sB-, April 2006

download word file, 4 pages 3.0

Downloaded 26 times

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 provided Blair and the Labour party with an issue of trust to combat. The Chancellor, Gordon Brown played a large part in Blair's revival after this issue of trust but perhaps not in the way he had intended.

Blair took advantage of Brown's high level of popularity and used him as a shield of some sort, benefiting from the general impression that he will stand down as Prime Minister. Gordon Brown more closely represents old labour and he therefore gains more support from the left. This added to the unique nature of the election, this is the first time an election has been fought with so much emphasis on the integrity of the Prime Minister. (Steven Fielding)

The nations perception that the Labour party is highly competent with regards to running the UK economy has in every previous election since Britain's expulsion from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism under Conservative rule gained them the majority of votes. It was perhaps surprising that from a Labour point of view that there was a noticeable lack of campaigning focused on...