Tag Archives: dennis kavanagh

The four best books on the British general election of 2010

Over the last few months, I’ve read (and mostly reviewed on this site) all the books I’ve found published so far about the 2010 general election and the subsequent coalition negotiations, not to mention a fair number about the political events leading up to the general election over the preceding years.

I’ve yet to read a book that is really bad, although many do have very similar content to each other. A few gems either have original content or present that common ground in particularly strong ways. So based on that here are my top four recommended books about the British …

Posted in Books and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 3 Comments

The British General Election of 2010: a book worth reading

There are two simple tests I have for books that recount events I was in some way involved in: do they accurately retell events that I have direct first-hand knowledge of and do they tell me something new about events I was one step removed from? If a book pasts both those tests, chances are the rest of the book is interesting and well-informed too – and The British General Election of 2010 by Dennis Kavanagh and Philip Cowley passes both tests with near flying colours (the description of Guildford as a “top” Liberal Democrat target betraying an over-attention to swings to win list over actual party priorities whilst the quote from Disraeli about coalitions is actually rather misleading).

In large part that is because their account is based on hundreds of off the record interviews carried out during the last Parliament and in the immediate aftermath of the general election. Because the interviews have been carried out across political parties (and across factions within them), the authors present a much more robust picture of events than is the fate of some journalists who source their off the record information much more narrowly.

Posted in Books and General Election | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

The Independent View: Conservatives admit their role in election attacks on Clegg

Back in April, in those heady days after the first televised leaders debate, as news of the remarkable Liberal Democrat poll surge began to come through, Nick Clegg spoke to the members of his campaign team on the phone. None of them could quite believe what was happening, but they agreed on one thing: ‘They’re going to come for us.’

As everyone will recall, ‘they’ did – with a string of lurid newspaper stories, reaching a peak on 22 April, the morning of the second leaders’ debate.  Most Lib Dem Voice readers will remember: ‘Nick Clegg, the Lib Dem donors and payments into his private account’ (Daily Telegraph); ‘Clegg’s crazy immigration policies’ (Daily Express); ‘Wobble Democrat’ (Sun); and ‘Clegg in Nazi Slur on Britain’ (Daily Mail).

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged and | 48 Comments

The 2010 general election in historical perspective

John Curtice, well-known psephologist and one of the relatively few political academics to take the trouble to study and understand the Liberal Democrats, has published his analysis of the 2010 election from a Lib Dem point of view.

Writing in the latest issue of the Journal of Liberal History, he looks at why the Liberal Democrat ‘surge’ eventually failed to deliver and why the party’s natural disappointment at the result may be masking what was in reality an impressive result – the second best, in terms of seats, since 1929, and the second best, in terms of votes, since 1923.

However, the …

Posted in Conference | Also tagged , and | 4 Comments
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