LDVideo | Election archive special… the 1980s

Yesterday was the 1960-70s, today we fast-forward to the 1980s…

1982 Liberal Party political broadcast

(Available on YouTube here.)

1983 election: Party leaders on the campaign trail (incuding Roy Jenkins at 1:05)

(Available on YouTube here.)

1983 election night coverage (following a big swing to the Liberals in Torbay, and featuring a Cyril Smith interview at 5:30)

(Available on YouTube here.)

The Alliance’s 1987 Battle Bus

(Available on YouTube here.)

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2 Comments

  • Paul McKeown 21st Aug '11 - 9:38pm

    Nice broadcast and a wasted opportunity, the break through sadly didn’t happen. Labour and the Conservatives were both intensely odious at the time. more so than since. Two thoughts strike me:

    a) I was young, developing my political awareness at the time. The Alliance attracted me strongly as a sensible alternative to the cruelties and idiocies of the two main alternatives, offering an inspiring vision for a society working together to improve the opportunities for all, rich and poor, north and south. Having initially inspired me, the Alliance and its successor party has never lost my vote, its message has remained fresh. I worry, however, that the result of the tuition fees fiasco is going to be that a generation of young people are going to be repelled by a party seen to have broken a pledge directed specifically at them. That would be a long turn loss, one which the Liberal Democrats must work to avoid, as the long term consequences are potentially very damaging.

    b) The surge of support for the Alliance prior to the 1983 General Election resulted in a disastrous return of MPs for the Liberals and the SDP to the House of Commons. Much was learned in the intervening years, and the LDs now return 50 or 60 MPs on a smaller share of the vote, maximising the yield in a distorted and unfair electoral system. However, one of the lessons of the 2010 General Election must nevertheless be, that the LDs have still not learned how to sustaining a large swing behind them into the ballot booth and maximising the parliamentary return of a large upswing. A 23% share of the vote should have seen a substantial net gain of seats, not a small net loss. The LDs need to plan for a similar future opportunity.

  • What about the John Cleese classic from 1987?

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