Brown’s Mandate Gordon Brown was over the moon. Labour had secured a third term and Brown had a strong majority of his own. Labour was obviously equally jubilant in that the Tories had not made any major strides towards power and the party was united behind Brown. Brown found himself being well liked by the public as a combination of the optimism of Blair and New Labour but yet a more down to earth statemanlike approach to politics. A benefit to Brown of the lost seats is that many of the most marginal Labour seats had been held by ardent Blairites who disliked the increased cooperation between the left and right that Brown had extended. In the manifesto Brown had pledged to look into renationalisation of the railways due to the increased wait times and fares under network rail in a move praised by backbenchers such as Jeremy Corbyn and Dennis Skinner. The policy was popular with at least 65% of likely voters supporting such a move. Of course there was no chance of the “Beast of Bolsover” being welcomed to cabinet anytime soon with the traditionally Republican Skinner making one of his traditional black rod quips of “51 years, is it past it’s sell-by date?”. Crucially after the Iraq war vote, under Brown Labour was feeling like a united party once again. The election proved, as comparisons had been made on Election Night, to be the Conservatives 1987 moment only they were roughly 100 seats less than Kinnock was after his dissapointing first election. There were mixed feelings on whether or not Howard should step down as leader as although at least this time the Tories had gained seats they were nowhere near a majority. Howard had proved a good unifying figure amongst the Tory party but he was not a very charismatic or inspiring leader. It was announced that Howard would be staying on as leader for the time being so as to not disunite the party with a leadership contest. One of the few gains made from Labour was Nigel Farage, former UKIP MEP candidate, getting a surprise victory in South Thanet after he had returned to the Conservatives 4 years prior. The 3rd place in the popular vote was disheartening but the Conservative Party would stress to its members that it was seats that mattered and there was still a significant distance between the two parties. There was plenty of time to prepare for the next election and the scar of 1997 was finally starting to heal. The Pact too had cause for disappointment but also for celebration. Once again the Tories had remained as the opposition despite hopes that Clarke and Daveys charisma would be able to outshine Howard and many had thought a period as the opposition would be the natural step forward to a 2007 or 2008 Government. However, together they had overtaken the Tories in the popular vote by a narrow 0.2% margin. The fact that they had less seats and yet had came second furthered their calls for electoral reform more than ever before. The day after the election Davey called for the introduction of proportional representation in all future general elections although these sympathies weren’t widely held outside the Lib Dems and the minor parties. The parties 82 seats would continue their strong voice in Parliament. However, just like before 1988, whispers of calls for a merger of the two parties in The Pact would grow louder.