LDVideo: Remembering the 1992 general election, 20 years ago today

Thursday, 9th April, 1992 — the first election for the newly-formed Liberal Democrats, and the last election when the Tories won a parliamentary majority. Here’s a video trip down memory lane…

Andrew Marr on John Major’s biggest popular mandate in electoral history

Paddy Ashdown on the campaign trail

Charles Kennedy and Don Foster interviewed on election night

* Stephen was Editor (and Co-Editor) of Liberal Democrat Voice from 2007 to 2015, and writes at The Collected Stephen Tall.

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  • Nick T Nick Thornsby 9th Apr '12 - 10:55am

    Is that Jeremy Bowen reporting in the second video?

  • Nick T Nick Thornsby 9th Apr '12 - 11:09am

    Just been pointed out on Twitter that it’s Justin Webb in the second video.

  • 1992 – my only time as a parliamentary candidate. And caught by an unusual squeeze –

    to the right people who said “I’d have voted for you Gwyn, but I couldn’t bear the thought of Kinnock as PM”

    to the left people who said “I’d have voted for you Gwyn, but I couldn’t bear the thought of [my Conservative rival, a ‘prominent’ local councillor] as MP”

    Good fun though!

  • Malcolm Todd 9th Apr '12 - 10:18pm

    @crewegwyn — isn’t that just the normal squeeze? People whose preference was ‘1 Lib Dem 2 Tory’ voted Tory because they thought you couldn’t win and were worried Labour might; and people whose preference was ‘1 Lib Dem 2 Labour’ voted Labour for the equal but opposite reason.
    I suspect there won’t be exactly the same problem next time, as fewer of the latter type will exist…

  • Tracy Connell 10th Apr '12 - 9:11am

    I was watching some of the re-run of the 1992 Election coverage on the parliament channel yesterday.

    I was studying English and Politics at Strathclyde University at the time. One of my lecturers was John Curtice, the political polls expert, and he was on the programme. I remember that everyone thought Labour would win the election (including John Major!) and John Curtice spent a lecture telling us why the polls had been wrong.

    Watching some of the footage of John Major – you can see he was slightly stunned to realise he had won the election.

    Also, as well as Paddy and Charles, they talked to Alan Beith quite a lot. I thought Alan’s claim that Labour could never win under the FPTP electoral system again was a bit of an exaggeration. LOL. And when you think of their landslide in 1997!

    That definitely brought back some memories 🙂

  • David Rogers 10th Apr '12 - 10:15am

    I was election agent for Norman Baker in Lewes in 1992. At the beginning of the week of polling day, we thought we were going to win – then there was a late swing back to the Tories. When I realised that despite finishing a very good second, our campaign had won more votes than many successful candidates, including some winning Lib Dems in Scotland, I realsied that there was a strong case for equal-sized constituencies…

  • Tracy Connell: on Labour being unelectable under FPTP, this was a serious issue at the time. I recall a strand of A-level politics curriculum in the early 80s covering this. “Can Labour win?” was a big thing. The answer was a resounding “no”, hence the creation of New Labour – Blair etc realised the party as was had become unelectable.

    I recall there was an element of hope among Lib Dems that this would see Labour become committed to electoral reform….

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