A New Britain - A British Political TL (1995-)

Speaking as a active Lib dem throughout the period That's not true the party has always been pro European, being pro a referendum was more a question of trying to shape the question themselves rather than letting the their opponents do that as Cameron frankly did (unlike Wilson)..

A third of Lib Dem voters (at the time) voted Brexit in 2016. At times in the 70s and early 80s, a majority of Liberal voters were Eurosceptic. The party has had a hard lurch to Europhilia. Which is to be expected. They generally have to compete by taking unequivocal positions on issues that the Labour Party, by virtue of being a much broader based party, have to compromise on.
I have to say I enjoy a Conservative dystopia TL as much as the next person and this has been an excellent journey.

Paddy Ashdown will go down in he history of this TL as the most successful leader of the Liberals since Asquith and while he's never got to Government, I assume the success in general elections has been matched locally so there could be 5000 Liberal Councillors running large numbers of councils across the country.

We've also not seen the 2003 Scottish and Welsh parliamentary election results nor any of the European Parliamentary election results to see how the party could have progressed in those.

Bill Cash would have been the disaster you have portrayed but who follows him with just 115 MPs from which to choose? William Hague is the most likely of the survivors and would still be young enough to take on Blair's successor.

Who succeeds Ashdown is another question? I suspect it wouldn't be Charles Kennedy in this TL but would it be one of the pre-1997 "old guard" such as Beith or Hughes or would the party "skip a generation" to one of the 1997 intake such as Tom Brake or Paul Burstow or Andrew George? One of the big failures of the LDs was responding to the more centrist Conservative leader, David Cameron but they would find it easier to deal with Hague.

The LD position on PR is NOT to support AV - that was Clegg's position and all he could get from the Conservatives in 2010. The LDs have always backed STV - would Labour offer that for local elections first?
Yeah there are some good points and let me adress them, I did actually forget to do the 2003 scottish and welsh elections and the EU Elections but I will edit them into the TL. I think the tories are going to have an ideological war and for the Lib Dems, Im not gonna disclose my idea except to say Charles Kennedy is going to be a powerful figure in the post-ashdown Lib Dems
A third of Lib Dem voters (at the time) voted Brexit in 2016. At times in the 70s and early 80s, a majority of Liberal voters were Eurosceptic. The party has had a hard lurch to Europhilia. Which is to be expected. They generally have to compete by taking unequivocal positions on issues that the Labour Party, by virtue of being a much broader based party, have to compromise on.
Cods and wallop. The membership of the party is and has been 95 per cent pro european since the 1960's. The fact is that a minority of the voters who voteed LD or Liberal did so because Eurosceptic though they were the issue was not important to them compared with other issues. The apparent shift insofar as it even existed was purely tactical . After the coalition debacle the party needed a USP and being anti Brexit wasavailable at a time when few other options presented themselves. BTW there are not all that many pro brexit members of the Labour party either,.
Post-Election Reaction


After the Labour Party had won a third general election it was compleltley and utterly unprecedented and that in it self was a huge achievement. Tony Blair had come back to MillBank where the Labour Party had created a new 15 year lease with the company. He came out and gave a victory speech where he hailed the opportunity for all society he said. 'We have done it and we have made history once again, we have ran the country for eight years and we will do it for four more at least so we have to get out there and make that change thank you'. He felt elated with very good reason to the Labour party had been retuned with a landslide majority of 160. And the jubiliation was reflected within Party HQ.

As for the Conservatives well the right were miserable this was now there fifth election in a row where they were losing seats. (1987 and 1992 they lossed seats). But this result was beyond. their worst expectations if the Lib Dems had gained just 8 more seats they would have the tories into third place. Bill Cash did immediatley resign though the internal party polls had suggested that they could get up to 190 seats, getting 115 seats was a failure by any definition of the word. Cash announced he would stay on until the new leader would be elected.

As for the Lib Dems well to say they had a good night would be a massive understatement, the Lib Dems had won a 101 MPs and had won 9.8 million votes and had won over a million more than the tories. Paddy Ashdown was given a 3 minute standing ovation having led the party for 16 years he had three elections in a row where he had made substantial gains. Ashdown Hailed the success as 'A victory for not only Liberalism but for Compassion'. However though they had hailed the victory and jubilation was the dominating feeling there was an injustice that they had secured 5% more votes than the tories and were still the third party. Between his friends (Nick Clegg, Charles Kennedy and Alan Bieth ) He had intended to resign in 2007.

Blair's Cabinet


There hadn't been many fundamental changes over the eight years,Blair had his inner circle,John Prescott, Gordon Brown and Alan Milburn. And though they had substantial influence on the PM it was known that there were two people who were able to understand the PM's Inner thoughts and they were his two main advisors Alistair Campbell and his chief of staff Jonathan Powell. Anji Hunter had remained the director of NO.10 policy and that wasn't changing and this is what the cabinet looked like.

Prime Minister- Tony Blair
Deputy Prime Minister- John Prescott
Chancellor - Gordon Brown
Foreign Secretary - Robin Cook
Home Secretary - David Blunkett
Health Secretary - Alan Milburn
Education Secretary - Jacqui Smith
Work and Pensions Secretary - Jack Straw
Enviroment Secretary - Margret Beckett
Trade and Industry - Bob Marshall Andrews
Head of the Full Employment Comission- Rodney Bickerstaffe
Transport Secretary - John Prescott
Scottish Secretary - Tom Clarke
Welsh Secretary - Alun Micheal

The Cabinet had been fairly New Labour with the likes of Alan Milburn and Jack Straw. But the shock appointment was in Bob Marshal Andrews as the Employment Secretary. Andrews was the most left wing minister since Tony Benn and it was a surprise on how he could be hired but Blair had decided to hire him in order to carry out their employment policies. And as For Rodney Bickerstaffe since he had finished his career as a TUC head. Blair had made him the head of the full employment

Tory Leadership Contest


It was another tory leadership election, the fourth one in ten years. The conservative party had fallen into an ideological civil war. The moderates like Ken Clarke had still gained prominence and had stood but also the tories wanted to maintiain their principles though Iain Duncan Smith did look like a reasonable bet, the scale of the defeat had shaken the tories to their core. Ken Clarke had decided to stand but so did Tim Loughton , Micheal Howard and David Davis along with Micheal Fabricant.

Ideological Scale

0- Pure Centrists , 10 - Pure Thatcherite

Ken Clarke - 0.9
David Davis - 1.6
Micheal Fabricant- 2.8
Tim Loughton 4.5
Micheal Howard 6.8

The Leadership election had been based on one simple narrative should the conservatives be able to remain as a viable party and therefore here is how the first ballot went.

Ken Clarke - 49 - 42.6%
David Davis - 21- 18.2%
Micheal Fabricant - 18 - 15.6%
Tim Loughton - 16 - 13.9%
Micheal Howard - 11 - 9.5%

Micheal Howard was swiftly eliminated and Micheal Howard was elimianted and endorsed David Davis calling him the 'True Bastion of Conservatism'.

Second Ballot
Ken Clarke - 50 - 43.6%
Davis Davis - 32- 27.8%
Micheal Fabricant - 18 - 15.6%
Tim Loughton 15 - 13%

Tim Loughton was eliminated and endorsed David Davis.

Third Ballot
Ken Clarke - 54 - 46.9%
David Davis 47 - 40.1%
Micheal Fabricant- 15 - 13%

Micheal Fabricant endorsed his friend Ken Clarke but it did seem that this would be a battle for the heart and soul of the conservative party.

During the entire leadership election, it was a clear debate between a pure centrist in Ken Clarke or David Davis who was mildly on the right but was far more to the left than Bill Cash, The debated had been focused on the public services and with Health and Education. But the reason this was Ken Clarkes main terrortry is he promised to modernise and change and to win the election. And the key part is that if there was one tory who the labour party would be scared off would have to be Ken Clarke.

Membership Ballot
Ken Clarke - 148,621 - 74.82%
David Davis - 52,379- 26.18%

Shadow Cabinet of Ken Clarke


No-one at all was surprised when he was announced that Ken Clarke was the leader of the conservative party. Though they might have felt uncomfortable they knew that having gone to the point of near extinction they had to elect a leader who would take them back to power and indeed in his victory speech that is exactly that where he said 'If any of you ever doubt the path we are going just remember that night when that exit poll was released remember how we all felt and then say to yourselves never will we experience this tragic defeat ever again'. Clarke had decided to make his cabinet far more centrist than Cash's bringing back his old friends and new people.

Leader of the Oppistion -
Ken Clarke
Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party - Micheal Heseltine
Shadow Chancellor - Micheal Portillo
Shadow Foreign Secretary - David Cameron
Shadow Home Secretary - David Davis
Shadow Health Secretary - Eric Pickles
Shadow Education Secretary - Peter Lilley
Work and Pensions Secretary - Alan Duncan
Shadow International Devolopment Secretary - Theresa May
Chairman of the Conservative Party - Micheal Fabricant
Chief Whip - Sir George Younger

As expected the cabinet had made a fundamental ideological shift to the centre ground with those on the hard left of the party, Eric Pickles and Alan Duncan but with many moderates such as David Cameron and the former prime minster Micheal Heseltine coming back as the Deputy Leader. But the grand coalition had thrown the tories back in. Because by the end of 2005 the polls looked like this.
Lib Dems27%

Labour372 (-48)
Conservatives176 (+61)
Lib Dems73 (-28)

Between October and December. The tories had been changing their policies for example they had ditched any form of privtisation of the nhs and schools. They had pledged to meet Labour's spending plans on the front line services. This had played a substantial role in detoxfying the conservative party. But as Clarke said 'This is going to be a long effort but we are going to be in power'.

Budget 2006


After 9 years of a Labour government the economy had gone through yet another year of economic growth this was yet another victroy lap for the leadership of Gordon brown. With the surplus forecasts being £93 billions in 2006 , £101 billion in 2007 , £109 billions in 2008 , £120 billions in 2009 , £126 billions in 2010 and £135 billions in 2011. The economic growth forecasts would be 3.3% in 2006 , 3.5% in 2007 , 3.4% in 2008 , 3.4% in 2009 , 3.3% in 2010 and 3.4% in 2011. These were strong economic forecasts comissoned by the Office for Budget Responsibility.

However there was also strong investment for the public services, the NHS had recieved a huge investment over the last six years and now at 2006 the budget of the NHS is at £106 billion and therefore they were able to properly fund the NHS and therefore the budget pledged to a further £8 billion the Labour party had some undeniable successes on the NHS with the reduction of the waiting lists to 2.5 million down from the 3.9 million in 1997. The radical increase in education spending from £36 billions in 1997 to £78 billions in 2006. But the radical funding of universities and colleges had been benifical.

As the Leader of the Conservatives, Ken Clarke had led the start of a modernising agenda basing his party had been detoxifying and through several spending pledges it was able to allow the Conservatives to bounce back. Clarke said 'So after 9 years of these irresponsible high spending socialists we have to change our public services require deep and fundemental reform of our NHS and schools. And I hear the Labour benches saying 'Privtisation' I would rather resign and leave politics than privatise the NHS and so lets stop floating these nonsense accusaiton because what this government needs is proper change and why not make way for the people who will make that change'

Local Elections 2006


These Elections would be a testing set for the Clarkes leadership the Conservatives had been anihliated in the 2002 local elections which is what these where the councils were last contended. The tories were anhiliated in the last set of local elections (2002) Labour beat them by 11% and therefore the tories had decided to make five people the centre of the Campaign, Ken Clarke, Micheal Heseltine, David Cameron, Alan Duncan and Eric Pickles. They are to become the new men of the tory party. But their speeches proved to be effective. An Iconic moment in the campaign was Eric Pickles talking to the voters of Liverpool who seemed to like him. As Pickles seemed to be a proper social democrat. The Labour Campaign had been effective due to 9 years of strong economic growth and there is a genuine feel good factor. The Lib Dems had a good Campaign, Paddy Ashdown was an extremely popular leader but the tories had come back.

Conservatives49 (+13)2,253 (+357)38.5% (+6.6%)
Labour43 (-14)1,875 (-410)35.3%. (-7.7%)
Lib Dems21 (+1)1,105 (+63)26.2% (+1.1%)
Others12 (NC)

Labour 297 (-108)Conservatives 261 (+146)Lib Dems 64 (-37)

It had been a fightback local elections with there being a clear swing of 7.1% to the Conservatives which would wipe out the majority for the Labour Party but the Lib Dems had also take a squeezing in their seats.

Conservative Party Conference- 27/09/06-1/10/06-Blackburn


As the tories have come into there conference it became clear that the fate of the tories had changed quite considerably from 12 months ago where they had nearly become exitint. Except now they were polling neck and neck with Labour however most do accept that it was because of two reasons the first as the leadership of Ken Clarke who had taken the party back to the centre ground. And the second reason was that the pledges on public services were in some cases to the left of Labour and when asked about cuts. Micheal Portillo remarked 'There will be no cuts'. As the Leader of the Oppistion gave his speech it was focused on health, education and defence. Clarke finsihed by saying this.

'There are some who are uneasy about the modernising movement but we are the party of power and the only way we can be in power is by changing and modernising because there is simply no point for us to sit there and talk about modernising and not doing it this party has to reflect Britain so let's get out their and make that change'

The speech had been effective in making a proper triangulation stratergy when he was chancellor, Clarke had tired to do the whole triangulate strategy when he was chancellor and since he was leader in the last 12 months he had been on the path of modernising and changing the country.

Lib Dems25%

Labour Conference- 3/10/06-7/10/06- Manchester


As The Labour party convened for another conference being their 9th one in government, times had changed they were no longer dominating the polls as the conservatives under Ken Clarke had revived their fortunes mainly because they were in the centre ground. But the Labour party still felt triumphant because they had another 4 years in power with a landslide majority. As Tony Blair stood up and gave his conference speech he talked about health , education , reforming public services and Iraq but he concluded his speech by saying.

'Friends here we are again in the ninth year of a labour government after the debates and policies of the government we are contiuining to rebuild Britain and that is the goal of this Labour government we have a duty to rebuild this country and whilst we have done part of it through the massive NHS investment and the rebuilding and reforming our schools we have still have a long way to go. So friends let's get out their and change this country.

The Conference had been a success with the Labour party using it to clearly outline the vision for the Labour party and how the country and the vision of the country has changed in the way that was unimagniable in 1997 and therefore with the economy growing and with living standards rising with the health service getting greater levels of expenditure and the schools were rebuilt. The public did acknowledge the huge gains that were made by the labour government.

Lib Dems24%

End of Year


After 9 and a half years of running the country the Labour Party had managed to still be leading in the opinion polls and it was undeniable that under the mamagement of Gordon Brown the economy had seen a huge expansion which led to the creation of 2.2 million new jobs and the decreasing of poverty. However the Conservatives had experienced a revival in the Opinion Polls with Ken Clarke taking the party back to the centre ground and continuing the modernisisng agenda had allowed them to hail the success that he had brought them.The Lib Dems had not felt as good as they had 12 months ago but they were still polling between 23%-27% which was much higher than 5 years ago but it was known that Paddy Ashdown's leadership was going to end in 2008 to mark 2 decades as leader of the Lib Dems.

Up Next
2007 Budget
2007 Scottish and Welsh Elections
Tory Conference
Labour Conference
Pensions Reform
Budget 2008
Future of Labour?
Lib Dem Leadership Election
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Jeez, according to this timeline Labour can do nothing wrong.

You clearly have a Blair-fetish
I dont, but Hadn't it been for iraq and top-up fees. Between 1997-2007 Labour didn't do much wrong. But equally the tories do get praised a fair ammpunt of the modernising agenda and Labour can't win forever but the public keeps voting them in because they keep doing good stuff.
2007-08 New
Budget 2007


As Gordon Brown convened for their tenth budget in a row he did report what could only be described as a fundamentally strong economy with the growth rates of 3.3% in 2007 , 3.5% in 2008 , 3.6% in 2009, 3.4% in 2010 , 3.5% in 2011 and 3.4% in 2012. These were strong economic growth rates because these were good growth rates which would ensure an extra £380 billions for the GDP. As for the surplus projections they were still strong because of the high growth economy which led to surplus projections of £108 billions in 2007 , £115 billions in 2008 , £121 billions in 2009 , £130 billions in 2010 and £136 billions in 2011 and £150 billions in 2012. These are strong economic forecasts which proved the strong economy that Labour ran.

As for the public services, the NHS did recieve an extra £9 billions in its annual expenditure boost. But it was going to be used in not only bringing down the waiting lists and therefore it allowed the NHS to be restored to its greatness. Also, the NHS had seen it have greater levels of funding for social care which allowed people with assets below £35,000 to not pay for their social care. The figure didn't include a persons home. Also Education was indeed funded effectively with an annual increases of expenditure of £4 billions. The use of the expenditure increases on the front line services it did allow them to be extremley benificial with public service satisfaction rates being at 78%.

The Tax reductions were applied with the 40% tax band being raised so that for no one with incomes below £55,000 would pay the 40% band of tax. There was also the raising of the lower 10% band for the more low income households was extended for incomes upto £28,000.

2007 Scottish and Welsh Elections

After 8 years of devolved adminsitration and with the labour government had ruled Scotland with effienciency in being able to upgrade the quality of education within Scotland for 8 years the Labour and Liberal Democrat government have had a laser light focus on education and improving the system of education, which was reflected in the education league tables with Scotland going up from 46th in 1997 to 7th in 2007. This was a clear indication of a strong education. But also there was the building of 200,000 council houses which allowed the price of houses to come down.

As for the Campaign well it was a formidable effort from the conservatives who had put all there star players in a 8 week campaign. But Eric Pickles was a key part in Scotland by going up to an Ship Building factor in Coatbridge which proved to be effective as they way he did it was talking to them. The event was 5 and a half hours long and he understood the workers. The Labour party had a positive record to campaign on with there being a clear change in Education and the rise in living standards. The Liberal Democrats had also a positive campaign due to the record. Here was the Election result.

Labour58 (-4)38.4% (-1.9%)
Lib Dems26 (+1)23.2% (+1.1%)
Conservatives19 (+8)21.2% (+12.6%)
SNP18 (-9)11.0% (-12.1%)
Greens8 (+4)6.1% (+0.8%)

The Labour party were always going to win the eleciton that was undoubtle, but the majority had come down from 29 to 19. But they had won the eleciton pretty easily and the coalition was renewed pretty easily with their being a renewal of the terms. But the main story of the night was the collapse of the SNP as the main oppisition and who replaced them, the conservative party. CCHQ had decided to employ a strategy of triangulation. Sending Eric Pickles and Alan Duncan to Scotlnd had been benifiical because the two of them had a strong connection to the people of Scotland.


As for the Welsh election, the Labour party had won an election in 1999 and 2003. The reason this was signficant is because wales was a traditional labour terrortriy and therefore it had genuine benifit because the welsh labour party was more to the left than the national labour party. The First Minister Rhodri Morgan was far to the left of Tony Blair. TheTory Campaign had been interesting. Micheal Heseltine and Ken Clarke stumping around Wales had been effective. The reaosn this was because. they were pure one nation tories and therefore could connect with the welsh voters. The Lib Dems had also had some strong advantages but equally they were plauteuing.

Labour29 (-1)38.8% (+0.7%)
Conservatives13 (+5)26.8% (+4.7%)
Lib Dems10 (-1)23.2% (-0.9%)
Welsh Socialist Party6 (+1)7.1% (+0.8%)
Plaid Cymru2 (-4)4.1% (-5.8%)

The Labour Party's majority had decreased from 22 to 18 seats. But they had still secured an Overall Majority but they had an ideological majority of 34. But equally there was a stunning victory for the conservatives winning 5 new seats and taking the role of the oppisiton and it had become clear that the entire strategy of triangulation had been benificlal. At the end of the election night the tories were able to hail there victory as a breakthrough in Wales.

Local Election 2007

As the campaign kicked off for the 2007 local elections it was an interesting start for all parties, the Conservatives had seen there position revive quite quickly as a result of the triangulation strategy. The Conservatives had set up a campaign that was focused on winning back the centre ground. They were fully aware that Labour's capturing of the centre ground would help them win more general elections and unless the tories fought for it they were in trouble. David Cameron, Ken Clarke, Micheal Heseltine, Alan Duncan and Eric Pickles ran the campaign in order to help the tories. The Labour Party had been able to campaign on ten years of strong economy and ten years of rising Employment. And They sent Alan Milburn and Gordon Brown along with Tony Blair as there men to win the locals. Here is how the election went.

Labour40 (-10)8,325 (-1,632)37.1% (-4.2%)
Conservatives27 (+18)5,210 (+1,910)35.9% (+5.1%)
Lib Dems24 (-3)4,650 (-101)27.0% (-0.9%)
No Overall Control8 (-5)

The Elections were close but Labour had won, but interms of percentage of the vote this is how the 2010 eleciton would go under those share of the vote.

Labour 335 (-70)Conservatives 210 (+95)Lib Dems 75 (-26)

Labour would still win a fourth term in government but the majority would be slashed down to 20 seats. As Tony Blair came back he hailed it as a victory for new Labour, it was astonishing that ten years on a government could still win the local elections but the tory revival was stunning they tripled their number of councils from 9 to 27 which was hailed by Ken Clarke as a victory for Brtiain.

Tory Conference- Manchester- 28/09/07-1/10/07


As the Tory Conference convened in Manchester they had a right to be happy, in the space of 21 months they had gone from near extinction to a party that is back. The tories had considerd the modernising agenda and have used it for change. For example, the tories had pledged to stick to Labour's spending plans for the full five years.This was able to nuetralise the key attack that labour were able to use which was the tories were able to sell off the state services. But equally the Labour Party still had a proper agenda which with Tony Blair leading the country and with a grip on Middle England there was still no certainity over the Overall Majority. As Ken Clarke gave another speech to the conservative conference.

'So my friends here we are again convening for another conference after another good year of election results, this party is changing and that si a good thing, for the more we change the more we look credible and that's why we have revived as a party, the change we have made as a party the reason that occupies the centre ground and why do we occoupy the centre ground it's so we can say that of course we are a free market party that has a deep trust in businesses but we are also a party with a deep social conscience. If we can make that change we can win so let us get out there and do it'.

The party had modernised which is why they were still polling neck and neck. The Tories campaigning within the traditional Labour cities had bene effective as they had shown that there was no bound for them in order to reach out to the voters that they had lost.

Lib Dems29%

Labour280 (-124)
Conservatives261 (+136)
Lib Dems79 (-22)

Labour Conference- Leeds - 03/10/07-07/10/07


10 years since the historic 1997 conference, the labour party were convening for yet another conference and therefore it was there tenth in government the party were able to hail their long list of acheivements wether it was ten years of uninterupted economic growth, 10 years of sustained rates of employment along with rapid investments in the NHS and Schools, Along with the peace in Northern Ireland , Kosovo, Sierra Leonne, Afghanistan and Iraq. Oh did I forget to mention Iraq, It turned out that the UN Coaltion inaited by Blair and Gore had managed to end Sadam Hussein and replace it with a Iraqi Government. But as Tony Blair came into the conference and came onto the platform he was their natural leader.

'My freinds we are here for our 10th year in government, and be in do doubt we still have a lot to be proud of the minimum wage, peace in northern ireland and the massive investment in the NHS and Education, we have radically transformed our public services dont ever forget that. Dont let people think we dont stick to what w beleive in. In the last ten years we have done more to change this country than those tories have ever done. We can do whatever we want because we have that grip on power. But also we are lucky in our oppistion, I know people say we have to take the Lib Dems seriously but I can't, I like Paddy incidently but recently he asked what do the lib dems stand for, Paddy please don't go there. The huge benifit for the Lib Dems is precisley nobody knows what they stand for. And if they Paddy it will be the end of you. They voted against ending benifits for failed asylum seekers, voted against ASBOs and they believe you can fund £40 billion of spending pledges through a 50% top rate of tax. Meanwhile the other half of their party wants to sell off the NHS. As for the Tories well they dont need to question what they stand for but the public knows what they stand for, the poll tax , 3 million unemployed, 15% interest rates, the cuts in schools and hosptials and the selling of all our industries. And let me blunt they do not deserve to ether be allowed to be back in power'.

Lib Dems28%
Labour373 (-32)
Conservatives169 (+54)
Lib Dems79 (-22)
Tony Blair63%35%
Ken Clarke69%28%
Paddy Ashdown81%17%
The Polls had turned because the conference had been a success . The walkabout that Gordon brown did in Leeds City Centre talking to the voters about public services showed a calming force.And Tony Blair's speech had been unscripted and played well into the authenticity factor.

Budget 2008


As Gordon Brown stood up and deleverd his 11th budget as he chancellor, the key theme was that strong economy it had come to dominate that ith growth rates of 3.4% in 2008, 3.3% in 2009, 3.6% in 2010, 3.8% in 2011 and 3.7% in 2012 and 3.8% in 2013. Allowed Brown to proclaim that Britain had the fastest growing eocnomy in the entire of Europe and except China had the fastest growing economy in the world. The Budget surplus was forecasted to be £110 billion in 2008 , £123 billion in 2009, £130 billion in 2010, £138 billion in 2011 , £150 billion in 2012 and £159billion in 2013. The Inflation rates were forecasted to be 0.8% in 2008 , 0.5% in 2009, 0.6% in 2010 , 0.4% in 2011 and 0.5% in 2012.

So with a strong economy there was a strong focus on the public services with a rapidly expanding NHS budget. Brown increased the NHS budget by £9 billions in 2008. He also promised to increase the Education Spending by £7 billions and announced that the Education Maintance Allowances which were used to help low income students into college would be increased to £35 a week. And that Lord Phillips had been asked to comission a review into University financing. The Police had been provided with an extra £5 billion which would be used to build 20 new police stations and rennovating 50 others. But there was an emphasis on local government which was provided with an extra £6 billions.

The Budget had been a success in not only hailing the achievements of that strong economy that won clealry with the voters. As Ken Clarke gave his speech he closed with 'SO after 11 years of more spending and more taxes we have to question what are we doing, now we welcome the chancellor's spending plans and we will back them but the labour party needs to understand that we need to reform our services and to invest more money so let's reform and change.

London Mayrol Election 2008


As they were ready for the third campaign, Ken Livingstone did have a record to campaign on the 485,000 homes built in the second term along with train fares coming down from Zone 1-6 from £3.95 to £2.50 per journey. But also the rail cards had been reduced to a maximum of £20 for a week travel. Also the London Overground rail devolopment had been a success. Livingstone 'Mayor Question Time' had been able to increase the power of the Mayor by causing less apathy. As for the Consevatives they had no idea who to nominate so they decided on Boris Johnson. Johnson was a formidable oppoment he had campaigned on what he called 'Modern Compassionate One Nation Toryism' he had promised not to reverse Livingstone's Transport reforms. As for the Lib Dems they had nominated Brian Paddock who was a police officer who had fought on being on tough on crime but also radically improving the quality of life for londoners.

Party1st Ballot2nd Ballot
Ken Livingstone (Labour)35.90%55.65%
Boris Johsnon (Conservatives)36.12%44.35%
Brian Paddock (Lib Dem)20.86%
Jenny Jones (Green)7.12%

Ken Livingstone had won a third term but it was undeniable Johnson was a formidable oppoment but eventually the votes did help because Livingstone was a popular mayor.

Lib Dem Leadership Contest

After 20 years Paddy Ashdown had decided to step down as leader of the Liberal Democrats he had taken the party from near irrelevance to now 101 MPs and had given more votes than the tories. The Lib Dems had more seats since the years of Asquith. As the Contest started it was between Chris Huhne, Vince Cable, Nick Clegg and David Laws. Huhne was a social democrat. On the scale this is how they looked.

(0- Social Democrat, 10- Gladstonian Liberal)

Chris Huhne - 0.9
Vince Cable - 1.1
Nick Clegg 3.8
David Laws - 9.3

CandidatesFirst BallotSecond BallotFinal Ballot
Vince. Cable38.01%47.56%62.38%
Chris Huhne23.12%28.44%37.62%
Nick Clegg22.65%25.00%
David Laws17.22%

Vince Cable was the natural successor for Paddy Ashdown and was a popular figure within the Lib Dems. Charles Kennedy was immediatly made his deputy leader and it was clear there was not going to be an ideolgical shift.

UP Next
Education Reform
Budget 2009
Local Elections 2009
European Elections 2009
Establishing a Supreme Court
Budget 2010
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