What really happened when David Cameron and Nick Clegg formed the coalition government? New research by experts at The University of Nottingham will shed light on this and other after-effects from the 2010 general election.
The election may be over, but the consequences of one of the most dramatic polls in decades are only just beginning to be felt.
The 2010 general election campaign was important for a number of reasons: it was the first to have US style leaders debates; it was the first to produce a coalition government in over 70 years, and it brought New Labour to a crashing end.
Professor Cowley has written The British General Election of 2010 (Palgrave) with Dennis Kavanagh. It’s the 18th in the prestigious General Election series, and is a major source of information for anyone looking to make sense of a general election.
The book is regarded as the definitive account of the 2010 election and contains hundreds of confidential interviews with the election’s key players.
“Understanding the broader implications of an election is a struggle, even for some experts,” says Professor Cowley. “I think that’s why the series is so popular. The book caters for everyone, from insiders at Westminster and politics students to the general interested reader.”
Professor Fielding, a leading expert on the Labour Party has contributed an account of Labour’s campaigning to Britain Votes 2010 (Oxford University Press), edited by Andrew Geddes and Jonathan Tonge, something he has done since 1997.
“The election seems a long way away — when Gordon Brown appeared at the Labour party conference he looked like a ghost from the past,” says Professor Fielding. “However, the lessons of that campaign remain to be fully learnt, by Labour especially.
“Some of these are hard — the party seemed to have lost touch with many on modest or middle incomes due to immigration. However, the public rejected the party and its leader more than its policies for dealing with the recession.
“With a free hand during the last few months the Coalition has pulled opinion to support dramatic and immediate cuts. But now Ed Miliband — the man who wrote Labour’s 2010 manifesto — has been elected there is some chance that Labour might be able to rebuild the party and reconnect with its lost voters.”
This volume is published as part of the Hansard Series in Politics and Government and also appears as a special edition of the journal Parliamentary Affairs, co-edited by Professor Fielding.
Professors Cowley and Fielding were founding authors of the immensely popular Election 2010 Blog, produced for the School of Politics and International Relations. The blog was viewed more than 90,000 times in a little more than four weeks and reached more than 45 million people worldwide through the media.
The Blog was inducted into the National Library’s Web Archive for future use.