ES1702's Wikibox & Graphics Thread

Alternative 1979
Basically somewhere for me post wikiboxes with a bit of text without the commitment of a full-blown timeline.

The United Kingdom General Election 1979

On 13 December 1978 James Callaghan's Labour government was dealt an embarrassing double defeat in the House of Commons that left the government's sanctions against private sector firms in tatters. By 285 to 279 the House passed a Conservative amendment that refused to support the government's "arbitrary use of economic sanctions" against firms that have "negotiated increases beyond a rigid limit which Parliament has not agreed". By 285 to 283 a second motion was carried that opposed sanctions on companies breaking the 5% pay rise limit.

In response, the Prime Minister tabled a motion reading: "That this House expresses its confidence in Her Majesty's Government and in its determination to strengthen the national economy, control inflation, reduce unemployment and secure social justice." By calling a confidence vote in his own government, Callaghan was throwing down the gauntlet to Margaret Thatcher's Conservatives to show they mean business.

The confidence vote was given priority among the business for the following day - 14 December 1978. The consensus among those in Westminster was that the government would carry the day. Such was the confidence of Callaghan in his numbers that several Labour MPs, who weren't already in Westminster, were not forced to return. The result of the vote, therefore, came as an almighty shock to everyone. By a majority of just one vote the Government was defeated.


Callaghan immediately confirmed that there would be a General Election in the New Year and that he would visit The Queen in the morning to confirm the date. Parliament, it was decided, would prorogue at start of what otherwise would have been the Christmas recess. Parliament would then be dissolved on 3 January for an election on 1 February.

The campaign was overshadowed in many respects by a series of strikes, though the two main party leaders succeeded in putting their manifesto forward to the population. Labour promised to curb inflation and prices, develop and implement a framework to improve industrial relations, move towards full employment and enlarge people's freedoms. The Conservatives pledged to bring inflation under control, reduce excessive public spending, restore law and order and create an economic climate in which industry can prosper.

The strikes undoubtedly impacted Labour in a negative way, despite Callaghan's personal ratings remaining steady throughout the campaign, and when the final election results came through on 2 February the result was no surprise.


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By my calculations, both Tony Benn and David Owen (two of the key players in the following Parliament in OTL) lose their seats on those numbers.
Alternative 1979
The 1980 Labour Leadership Election

Following the party's defeat in the General Election, Labour Leader James Callaghan resolved that he would have to resign. However, he opted not to do so right away and advised the party that he would seek to lead the Opposition for around 18 months to oversee an orderly transition to a successor without the immediate aftermath of the election providing a distraction.

And so at the end of June 1980 Callaghan announced his resignation. Four candidates were nominated on the 1st and 2nd of July and Labour MPs voted in two ballots on 4 July and 7 July.


Boris' Britain
The 2016 Conservative Leadership Election

David Cameron announced he would resign as Prime Minister and Conservative Party Leader on 24 June in the aftermath of the 52-48 referendum vote to Leave the European Union. Over the coming days the rules and timetable for the leadership election were set out by the Chairman of the 1922 Committee Graham Brady. The nominations opened on 29 June and closed on 30 June. Four candidates put themselves forward: the former Mayor of London Boris Johnson, the Home Secretary Theresa May, the Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb and the former Defence Secretary Liam Fox.

The first round of voting took place on 5 July with the second taking place on 7 July. The campaign to win over the membership kicked off immediately and the result was announced on 9 September. The new Leader took over as Prime Minister from David Cameron on 12 September.

Boris' Britain
The United Kingdom General Election 2016

Parliament reassembled after Conference season on 10 October. Prime Minister Boris Johnson held the first Cabinet meeting after Conference on 11 October. It was on that day that he announced to Cabinet that he was to call a General Election for November. In a short, televised statement in Downing Street the Prime Minister announced his intention to the country and scheduled the election, pending a vote in Parliament, for Thursday 24 November - 5 months after the referendum. In his speech, the Prime Minister called for a "vote of confidence in a changing Britain" and said a Conservative victory would "put the wind in the sails" of Britain's negotiators preparing to negotiate the terms of Brexit with the European Union. "This is our chance to re-launch ourselves in the world - a new global, vibrant, outward-looking, tolerant, liberal Britain," the Prime Minister said as he set out his stall.

Parliament dissolved on 20 October, five weeks before the election. Polls at the start of the campaign had the Conservatives on 38-42%, Labour on 28-32%, UKIP on 7-11% and the Liberal Democrats on 6-10%. This meant at their best, the Conservatives could achieve 390-400 seats and a majority in the region of 140. For Labour it meant they were heading for below 180 seats. Even at their best performance in the polls, Labour would still lose seats and be on around 220, and for the Conservatives they could have 340 seats and a majority of 30. By the end of the campaign, Labour had steadied at around 32% with the Conservatives hovering at around 43%, the Liberal Democrats on 10%, UKIP also on 7% and the Greens on 3%. These numbers pointed towards a Conservative majority of 70 with 360 seats, with Labour on around 210.

The results on election night proved to be roughly in line with some predictions:


Conservative Majority of 108

Liberal Democrats: 2,720,149 (8.3%) (+0.4%) 8 Seats (+0)
UKIP: 2,496,137 (7.6%) (-5.0%) 0 Seats (-1)
Green: 352,019 (1.1%) (-2.5%) 1 Seat (+0)
Plaid Cymru: 192,010 (0.6%) (+0.0%) 3 Seats (+0)
Others: 1,440,083 (4.4%) 18 Seats (+0)
Alternative 1979
The United Kingdom General Election 1982

After the success story of 1979 it seemed difficult to believe that Margaret Thatcher's government had slipped into such unpopularity - especially when faced with Michael Foot's Labour Party. Within a year the party's ten-point lead over Labour had been reversed and turned into a thirteen-point deficit.

The government's measures to bring a swift end to what became known as 'Winter of Discontent' that rumbled on through the election campaign combined with new experimental monetarist policies had created substantial groups of winners and losers within the country at-large. The Liberal Party was a particular beneficiary in the political world, with those disillusioned with Labour and disappointed by the Conservatives leading to the party's extraordinary rise in the polls - taking the lead inconsistently throughout 1981.

However, events on a small group of islands in the South Atlantic in spring 1982 changed the course of British political history. Argentine forces invaded the Falkland Islands, home to 2000 people, on 2 April 1982. South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands were occupied the following day. A Royal Navy task force was dispatched within 48 hours and so begun a 74-day war that claimed the lives of 649 Argentine soldiers, 255 British soldiers and 3 Falkland Islander civilians.

Victory in the Falklands War led to a dramatic rise in support for Margaret Thatcher and the Conservatives - up to and above 50% in some polls. The next general election, by law, did not have to be held until February 1984 though Thatcher and her team had already agreed to set a precedent for four-year parliaments with an election due for February 1983. Owing to the fact that the public were unlikely to be happy being dragged out to vote in the winter and just months before the local elections an autumn election for 1982 had been agreed upon at the start of the year.

The Falklands War led to a reconsideration amid fears that going to the polls in the autumn would be seen as seeking to capitalise on the deaths of British service personnel. Thatcher, the one ultimately in charge of calling the election, resolved to press ahead with the plan for an autumn vote and so an election was called for 7 October 1982.


Conservative Majority of 226
The unprecedented victory for the Conservatives - smashing the record for the most amount of votes cast for a single party and achieving the highest seat tally for a single party since 1931 - had "secured Conservative government for a generation" according to commentators.
Alternative 1979
The 1982 Labour Leadership Election

Following the unprecedented landslide victory for Mrs Thatcher's Conservatives in the General Election, the Labour leader Michael Foot resigned. The ensuing leadership election saw three candidates stand: Roy Hattersley, Judith Hart and Peter Shore.

The candidates were nominated between 1-3 November 1982 with the campaign following before the result on 18 December. This was the first Labour leadership election to use the new Electoral College which, despite reservations some on the left of the party who wanted to give greater weight to the trade unions, saw power split equally among the Affiliated Block, the Constituency Labour Party Block and the Parliamentary Labour Party block.



The 1986 United Kingdom General Election

After their crushing defeat in 1982 it was unlikely that Labour could sink much lower. After 7 years in Government, support for the Conservatives under Mrs Thatcher continued on it's slow decline but remained well ahead of Peter Shore's Labour Party. David Steel's Liberals also began to decline. The election could've been held off until 1987, but seeking to stick to four-year terms Thatcher called the election for 9 October.

A reasonably healthy economy combined with a weak opposition saw the Conservatives returned to power for third term.


Conservative Majority of 168
Alternative 1979
The 1986-1987 Labour Leadership Election

Following a third successive defeat at the hands of Mrs Thatcher, Labour embarked on their third leadership election in 7 years. Three candidates emerged: Denis Healey, who had served as Chancellor in the last Labour government; Tony Benn, the left-wing former Industry Secretary; and Tony Blair, the fresh-faced MP of the 1982 intake who had served a junior shadow minister under Peter Shore.

The election ran from 1 December 1986 and the results were announced on 23 January 1987. Denis Healey won by a landslide on the first round.

Alternative 1979
The United Kingdom General Election 1990

The 1990 election was called by the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, for Thursday 4 October. In the midst of the Gulf War, it was suspected that the incumbent Conservative government would benefit from a boost in public support on the back of the military action against Saddam Hussein. A strong campaign by Labour under Denis Healey led to what became known as 'Wobbly Wednesday' for the Conservatives two weeks before polling day when it appeared as though they would lose.

The election ultimately produced a Conservative majority and secured a record fourth term for Mrs Thatcher and the Conservative government. For Labour it marked their fourth consecutive defeat, but they did have their best result in terms of % of the vote since October 1974 and made their largest number of seat gains since 1966. The election had a turnout of 82% - the highest since 1951.


Conservative Majority of 70
Alternative 1979
The 1992 Labour Leadership Election

The 1992 Labour leadership election was triggered by the resignation of Denis Healey, who had stayed on as Labour leader following the 1990 election. It was the first internal party election to be conducted using the one member, one vote system allowing every party member one vote. Each of the party's 341,000 members could vote on the three candidates that reached the threshold of nominations needed to be on the ballot: Margaret Beckett, Robin Cook and Bryan Gould.

Alternative 1979
The 1993 Conservative Leadership Election

Margaret Thatcher tendered her resignation as Leader of the Conservative Party on 1 July 1993 after 18 years at the helm, and 14 years as Prime Minister. The resignation came as a shock to some who expected her to try and fight a fifth election, though it was later revealed that she had made up her mind in 1989 to resign a few years into the next term if she won the 1990 election. After almost 20 years leading the party the leadership election unleashed a vibrant campaign of multiple candidates. 6 in total stood for the leadership: John Major, Michael Portillo, Michael Heseltine, Douglas Hurd, Ken Clarke and John Redwood. 356 Conservative MPs voted in three ballots on 8 July, 13 July and 15 July to select their new leader. They were appointed as Prime Minister on Friday 16 July.

Alternative 1979
The United Kingdom General Election 1995

Prime Minister Michael Portillo called the 1995 General Election for 8 June after he'd been in office for nearly two years. Labour began the campaign with a small lead in the polls, but a slick campaign by the young and dynamic Prime Minister saw the Conservatives make it neck-and-neck before eventually getting a small lead. Turnout in the election fell by almost 6% compared to 1990. The Conservatives won a record fifth consecutive term in office with a greatly reduced majority. Labour leader Margaret Beckett said she would consult with party officials before determining her future after the election - she ultimately decided to stay on.


Conservative Majority of 6
Boris' Britain
The 2017 Labour Leadership Election
Jeremy Corbyn announced that he would stay on for a "period of time" following his landslide defeat at the hands of Boris Johnson in the 2016 General Election. With the State Opening of Parliament and the Autumn Statement out of the way, Corbyn announced shortly before Christmas that he would be resigning and would remain in post until a new leader had been elected. Nominations opened on 16 January and closed on 20 January - 29 MPs were needed to secure a place on the ballot. Four candidates reached this threshold: Dan Jarvis, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Yvette Cooper and Chuka Umunna. The deadline for new members to join to vote in the election was 1 February. The size of the electorate was 528,183 and ballot paper were distributed on 3 February with the ballot closing on 2 March. The result was announced at a special conference on 4 March.

Alternative 1979
The United Kingdom General Election 2000
Prime Minister Michael Portillo called the first General Election of the 21st Century for Thursday 4 May, to coincide with that year's local elections. After a little more than 21 years in power it came as no surprise that the Conservatives found themselves substantially behind the Labour Party at the start of the campaign - Labour's lead at one point reaching 22 points (50-28). The Conservatives managed to regain some ground during the campaign, but far from enough to make any sort of meaningful difference. The Liberal Party under Paddy Ashdown did, however, surge during the campaign from around 14% at the start to well over 20% by the end of the campaign. The election resulted in the end of two decades of Conservative Government and the first comfortable majority win for Labour since 1966, and installed Margaret Beckett as the UK's second female Prime Minister.


Labour Majority of 124
Alternative 1979
The 2000 Conservative Party Leadership Election
Michael Portillo resigned as Leader of the Conservative Party immediately after the election result, firing the starting gun on a leadership election. The changed rules for leadership elections meant that Conservative MPs would vote in a ballots to whittle the number of candidates down to two, who would then be put to a vote of the party membership. After much speculation surrounding who would run, four candidates eventually put themselves forward: Ken Clarke, Michael Ancram, William Hague and Ann Widdecombe. The new leader was installed on 30 June.