United Kingdom general election, 1987


United Kingdom general election, 1987

Infobox Election
election_name = United Kingdom general election, 1987
country = United Kingdom
type = parliamentary
ongoing = no
previous_election = United Kingdom general election, 1983
previous_year = 1983
previous_mps = MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 1983
next_election = United Kingdom general election, 1992
next_year = 1992
next_mps = MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 1992
seats_for_election = All 650 seats to the House of Commons
election_date = 11 June 1987



leader1 = Margaret Thatcher
leader_since1 = 11 February 1975
party1 = Conservative Party (UK)
leaders_seat1 = Finchley
last_election1 = 397 seats, 42.4%
seats1 = 376
seat_change1 = -21
popular_vote1 = 13,760,935
percentage1 = 42.2%
swing1 = %



leader2 = Neil Kinnock
leader_since2 = 2 October 1983
party2 = Labour Party (UK)
leaders_seat2 = Islwyn
last_election2 = 209 seats, 27.6%
seats2 = 229
seat_change2 = +20
popular_vote2 = 10,029,270
percentage2 = 30.8%
swing2 = %



leader3 = David Steel
leader_since3 = 7 July 1976
party3 = SDP-Liberal_Alliance
leaders_seat3 = Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale
last_election3 = 23 seats, 25.4%
seats3 = 22
seat_change3 = -1
popular_vote3 = 7,341,651
percentage3 = 22.6%
swing3 = %
title = PM
before_election = Margaret Thatcher
before_party = Conservative Party (UK)
after_election = Margaret Thatcher
after_party = Conservative Party (UK)

The United Kingdom general election of 1987 was held on 11 June 1987 and was the third consecutive victory for the Conservative Party under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher. She was the first Prime Minister since the 2nd Earl of Liverpool to lead a party to three successive elections, a record subsequently equalled by Tony Blair.

The Conservative government had survived the industrial disputes with mine workers (1984–85) and print unions (1985–86), and had weathered the 1986 Westland affair even with the resignation of Michael Heseltine and Leon Brittan, and the overall economy was strong. The Labour party at the time was slowly returning to a more centrist stance under new leader Neil Kinnock and was expecting to do much better than in the 1983 election. The main aim of the Labour party was, arguably, not to win a majority of parliamentary seats but simply to reestablish themselves as the main progressive centre-left alternative to the Conservatives, after the rise of the SDP forced Labour onto the defence. Indeed, the Labour party succeeded in doing so with this general election. The SDP and the Liberals renewed their Alliance but co-leaders David Owen and David Steel could not agree whether to support either major party in the event of a hung parliament. This turned out to be a purely academic problem, as the Conservatives were reelected with a reduced majority of 102 seats. The failure of the Alliance to break through the electoral barriers ultimately resulted in the merger of the two parties in 1988 to become the Social and Liberal Democrats (latterly Liberal Democrats).

Results

Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidates = 633
seats = 376
gain = 9
loss = 30
net = - 21
votes = 13,760,935
votes % = 42.2
seats % = 57.8
plus/minus = - 0.2
government = yes
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Labour Party (UK)
candidates = 633
seats = 229
gain = 26
loss = 6
net = + 20
votes = 10,029,270
votes % = 30.8
seats % = 35.2
plus/minus = + 3.2
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = SDP-Liberal Alliance
candidates = 633
seats = 22 (5 + 17)
gain = 5
loss = 6
net = - 1
votes = 7,341,651
votes % = 22.6
seats % = 3.38
plus/minus = - 2.8
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Scottish National Party
candidates = 72
seats = 3
gain = 3
loss = 2
net = + 1
votes = 416,473
votes % = 1.3
seats % = 0.46
plus/minus = + 0.2
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Ulster Unionist Party
candidates = 12
seats = 9
gain = 0
loss = 2
net = - 2
votes = 276,230
votes % = 0.8
seats % = 1.38
plus/minus = 0.0
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Social Democratic and Labour Party
candidates = 13
seats = 3
gain = 2
loss = 0
net = + 2
votes = 154,067
votes % = 0.5
seats % = 0.46
plus/minus = + 0.1
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Plaid Cymru
candidates = 38
seats = 3
gain = 1
loss = 0
net = + 1
votes = 123,599
votes % = 0.4
seats % = 0.46
plus/minus = 0.0
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Green Party (UK)
candidates = 133
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 89,753
votes % = 0.3
seats % =
plus/minus = + 0.1
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Democratic Unionist Party
candidates = 4
seats = 3
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 85,642
votes % = 0.3
seats % = 0.46
plus/minus = - 0.2
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Sinn Féin
candidates = 14
seats = 1
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 83,389
votes % = 0.3
seats % = 0.15
plus/minus = 0.0
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Alliance Party of Northern Ireland
candidates = 16
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 72,671
votes % = 0.2
seats % =
plus/minus = 0.0
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Workers Party (Ireland)
candidates = 14
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 19,294
votes % = 0.1
seats % =
plus/minus = + 0.1
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Ulster Popular Unionist Party
candidates = 1
seats = 1
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 18,420
votes % = 0.1
seats % = 0.15
plus/minus = 0.0
Election Summary with Candidates
party = Real Unionist
candidates = 1
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 14,467
votes % = 0.1
seats % =
plus/minus = "N/A"
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Communist Party of Great Britain
candidates = 19
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 6,078
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus = 0.0
Election Summary with Candidates
party = Protestant Unionist
candidates = 1
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 5,671
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus = "N/A"
Election Summary with Candidates
party = Red Front
candidates = 14
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 3,177
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus = "N/A"
Election Summary with Candidates
party = Orkney and Shetland Movement
candidates = 1
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 3,095
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus = "N/A"
Election Summary with Candidates
party = Moderate Labour
candidates = 2
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 2,269
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus = "N/A"
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Official Monster Raving Loony Party
candidates = 5
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 1,951
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus = 0.0
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Workers Revolutionary Party (UK)
candidates = 10
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 1,721
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus = 0.0
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Independent Liberal
candidates =
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 686
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus = 0.0
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = British National Party
candidates = 2
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 553
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus = 0.0
Election Summary with Candidates
party = Independent Green
candidates =
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 522
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus = "N/A"

"All parties gaining over 500 votes listed."

Campaign and policies

The Conservatives' campaign emphasized lower taxes, a strong economy, and defence, and also employed rapid-response reactions to take advantage of Labour errors. Tim Bell and Saatchi and Saatchi produced memorable posters for the Conservatives, such as a picture of a British soldier's arms raised in surrender with the caption: "Labour's Policy On Arms"—a reference to Labour's policy of unilateral nuclear disarmament. The first Conservative party political broadcast played on the theme of "Freedom" and ended with a fluttering Union Jack, the hymn "I Vow to Thee, My Country" and the slogan: "It's Great To Be Great Again".

The Labour campaign was a marked change from previous efforts; professionally directed by Peter Mandelson and Bryan Gould, it concentrated on presenting and improving Neil Kinnock's image to the electorate. Labour's first party political broadcast, dubbed "Kinnock: The Movie", was directed by Hugh Hudson of "Chariots of Fire" fame, and concentrated on portraying Kinnock as a caring, compassionate family man. Kinnock's personal popularity jumped 16% overnight after the initial broadcast. [David Butler and Dennis Kavanagh, "The British General Election of 1987" (Macmillan, 1988), p. 154.]

On 24 May Kinnock was interviewed by David Frost and claimed that Labour's alternative defence strategy in the event of a Soviet attack would be "using the resources you've got to make any occupation totally untenable". [ [http://open.bbc.co.uk/catalogue/infax/programme/SX+18778_5 TV-AM (24 May 1987)] ] In a speech two days later Mrs. Thatcher attacked Labour's defence policy as a programme for "defeat, surrender, occupation, and finally, prolonged guerilla fighting...I do not understand how anyone who aspires to Government can treat the defence of our country so lightly." [ [http://www.margaretthatcher.org/speeches/displaydocument.asp?docid=106843 Speech to Conservative Rally in Newport (26 May 1987)] ]

Result

The Conservatives were returned with a 102-seat majority, down 42 on 1983 with a swing of about 1% toward Labour. Increasing polarisation marked divisions across the country: the Conservatives dominated southern England and took additional seats from Labour in the south but performed less well in Northern England, Scotland, and Wales. Yet the overall result of this election proved that the policies of Margaret Thatcher retained significant support, with the Conservatives given a third convincing majority.

Despite initial optimism and the professional campaign run by Neil Kinnock, the election brought only 20 additional seats for Labour from the 1983 Tory landslide. However, it represented a decisive victory against the Alliance and marked out the Labour Party as the main opposition to the Conservative Party. This was in stark contrast to 1983, when the Labour Party and the Alliance took a roughly equal share of the vote.

The result for the Alliance was a disappointment, in that they had hoped to overtake Labour as the second party in the UK in terms of vote share. Instead they lost one net seat and saw their vote share drop by almost 3%, with a widening gap of 8% between them and the Labour party (compared to a 2% gap four years before). These results would eventually lead to the end of the Alliance and the birth of the Liberal Democrats.

Most of the prominent MPs retained their seats. Notable failures included Enoch Powell and two Alliance members, Liberal Clement Freud and former SDP leader Roy Jenkins.

In Northern Ireland the various unionist parties maintained an electoral pact (with a few dissenters) in opposition to the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

Turnout: 32,530,204 (75.3%)

ee also

* MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 1987.

References

*F. W. S. Craig, "British Electoral Facts: 1832-1987"

Manifestos

* [http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/area/uk/man/con87.htm The Next Moves Forward] - 1987 Conservative manifesto.
* [http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/area/uk/man/lab87.htm Britain will win with Labour] - 1987 Labour Party manifesto.
* [http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/area/uk/man/lib87.htm Britain United: The Time Has Come] - 1987 SDP-Liberal Alliance manifesto.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.