The British general election of 2010 and the advent of coalition government

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In many respects the May 2010 general election in Britain seems to be one of those cases where an election is lost, yet without any clear winner emerging. Yet it was also a contest that led to a historic outcome, a further decline in support for the top two parties and the advent of the first peacetime coalition government in the UK since the 1920s. I begin by considering the shape of the basic results, and then look at how voting behaviour changed in response to changing party strategies. Section 3 examines the operation of the electoral system and the longer term significance of the 2010 election for long-run trends towards multi-partism in British politics. Section 4 examines the transition to a coalition government between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, lead by David Cameron and Nick Clegg, and the basic parliamentary arithmetic and electoral situation that it confronts. The final section considers the longer term potential for change in British politics that have opened up from the election and its aftermath, especially for another wave of constitutional reform.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCoalition Britain: the UK election of 2010
EditorsG Baldini, Jonathan Hopkin
Place of PublicationManchester UK
PublisherManchester University Press
Number of pages32
ISBN (Print)9780719083693
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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