"The Commonwealth of Britain" - Republican UK Wikibox TL

I'm wondering what kind of multi-coloured coalitions Britain is going to end up with in the future.

I could see some kind of German-style "Traffic Light" coalition, of Labour, LibDems and Greens; some kind of Blue-Gold coalition of Tories and LibDems; some kind of Blue-Purple coalition of the Tories, UKIP and probably various NI unionists. Some combinations would be more stable than others.

At any rate, two different coloured coalitions in the Commons and the Senate will cause some...friction.
I'm wondering what kind of multi-coloured coalitions Britain is going to end up with in the future.

I could see some kind of German-style "Traffic Light" coalition, of Labour, LibDems and Greens; some kind of Blue-Gold coalition of Tories and LibDems; some kind of Blue-Purple coalition of the Tories, UKIP and probably various NI unionists. Some combinations would be more stable than others.

At any rate, two different coloured coalitions in the Commons and the Senate will cause some...friction.
These are all certainly possible and we're likely to see all them as the Commonwealth ticks along.

On Parliament and the Senate you are right, with Brown in Parliament and Laws in the Senate, Blair and Labour are not as powerful as OTL. However the lib dems do have a de-facto confidence and supply agreement as they abstain on most of Labours social and economic reforms. Whereas for issues of foreign and policing policy like funding for Iraq and counter-terrorism legislation they can count on the Tories to abstain. In a sense Knapman is right, all three of the main parties prop each other up to a certain extent.

However the "chaos scenario" of a Conservative President, Labour Prime Minister and Lib Dem Senate Leader is mentioned a lot in Labour adverts and leaflets.
Last edited:
2004 Presidential Election Campaign Finale

C-Span2 broadcasted the debate in the US

As the debate wrapped up the candidates gave their closing remarks. Blair was the first to go, echoing Howard with a patriotic speech. “People often say to me: the Presidency is a tough job. Not really. A tough life is the life the young severely disabled children have and their parents who visited me in Buckingham the other week. Tough is the life my Dad had, his whole career cut short at the age of 40 by a stroke. I have been very lucky and very blessed. This country is a blessed nation. The British are special. The world knows it. In our innermost thoughts, we know it. This is the greatest nation on earth.”


Charles Kennedy poses for the New Statesman's post-debate "profile"

Kennedy’s closing remarks rounded on Britain's two party system attacking both parties for being backwards looking. “The big parties on this stage increasingly belong to all our yesterdays. In huge swathes of the country it's the Conservatives who are now firmly established - as the third party. Similarly in so much of the country a vote for Labour is now the wasted vote. Well, they say variety is the spice of life. For the others on this stage it looks to me much more like the kiss of death. They belong to the past. We're working for the future. We have moved the party of protest to a party of power. 3 party politics is here - and here to stay.”

Knapman returned to form his closing remarks focused around power and immigration. “We want our country back. These are the words I hear up and down this country. The truth about immigration is this: Labour haven't controlled it - they have been in power for seven years and they haven't controlled it. The Tories can't control it - they want to stay in the European Union. And the Liberals won't - they don't see the problem. They don't see any obvious limit to immigration. There’s only one route to a credible immigration policy, it involves voting UKIP.”

Howard had the advantage of being the last to speak, his words would be the words most viewers would leave with. “Here are ten words to remember. School discipline. More police. Cleaner hospitals. Lower taxes. Controlled immigration. Ten words to address the problems that are worrying people today. Remember those words. And remember one more: accountability. I won't just make a difference. I'll be different. I'll be accountable to you. I'll do what I say. There'll be less talk, more action.”


Lookalikes perform a mock debate outside Parliament

Snap polling showed that voters were undecided on the best performer. Howard had a plurality of voters saying he did the best at 28%, followed by Blair at 23%, Kennedy at 21% and Roger Knapman at 16%. Howard’s final speech was the main soundbite of the night; his anti-spin speech struck a stark contrast to Blair, and polling showed voters were increasingly unhappy with Blair’s style of leadership. Howard had gone from a “man of the night” to a cross party unifier in a matter of weeks and Labour had failed to break that narrative.

The main goal of Blair’s debate performance was to win back anti-euro voters defecting to the Conservatives in droves. The results were mixed. After the debate the amount of people who described Blair as “patriotic” and “tough” increased by 7% and 4% respectively. However the main words to describe Blair still remained words like “Tyrant” and “Dishonest.” The simple fact was whilst Blair could make a good speech, the public no longer believed him.


Image on the front cover of the Morning Star the morning after the debate. Whilst few would go as far as the Morning Star, issues of trust greatly harmed Blair's campaign

Kennedy had a strong debate in one sense, no one had mentioned the words alcohol. But it wasn’t the stunning breakthrough Liberal Democrat activists had hoped for, Kennedy’s former position in the Blair Government, coupled with having Knapman on stage undercut some of Kennedy’s anti-establishment image.Kennedy knew all he needed to do was get into the second round, but if the polls were correct then he was still just the third man.

Knapman did his job. He managed not to say anything that would bring UKIP into disrepute. He looked like a serious, normal politician and he managed to steer the debate towards immigration at any chance he got. Knapman set out to make UKIP a credible force and a credible option for “normal” voters, most pundits agreed he succeeded and even exceeded expectations.

With the debates over the official campaign entering its final stages it became clear that Howard had dominated the Tory party’s presentation. With private polling showing Howard was considered more in touch of ordinary people’s issues than Blair and his advisers were keen to keep Howard the main story of the campaign. Howard’s anti Presidential dictator message seemed to cut through. Meanwhile the Blair campaign made a last minute push to recapture the hopeful optimistic message of the 99 election. Meanwhile Kennedy went on a tour of Lib Dem safe areas in the South West to try and shore up support that might have gone to Howard.


Howard waves to protesters as he leaves the debate

As the 10th of June arrived, supporters of all candidates gathered around their televisions. The campaign headquarters in Aberdeen, Bexley, Bristol and Sedgefield all went silent. As the clock turned to 9:59 David Dimbleby addressed the nation. “We’ve spoken to nearly 20,000 voters at 150 polling stations. Of course the exit poll is just a clue, it’s usually right but of course in 1992 it suggested Labour as the largest party and the Tories ended up with a majority. As Big Ben strikes ten the polling stations are closed and I can give you the result of our exit poll…”

Which 2004 event do you think had the biggest impact on Commonwealth history, the Euro Referendum or the Presidential Election? (30 Marks) - A Level History Exam 2019
Last edited:
Closer Look, 2003 West Midlands Senate Election
Much like the rest of the country the 2003 West Midlands Senate election was marked by Iraq, even more so than most regions. This was for two reasons. Firstly whilst Premier Clare Short was strongly against the war, her Senate President Jeff Rooker was a Blair loyalist. The two often clashed publicly and this greatly hurt Labour's electoral prospects, especially in the strongly Muslim parts of Birmingham and Coventry.

The Conservatives however were unable to take advantage of Labour's disarray. Bill Cash led their senate cohort and his eurosceptic and royalist views didn't gain much support outside of the traditional Conservative areas of the West Midlands, the inner city voters were looking for an alternative, but not Cash.

The Liberal Democrats tried to counter their bleeding heart image by electing Lorely Burt, a former prison governor, as their Senate leader. Burt's opposition to the war, alongside the Lib Dem surge around the country allowed them to pick up three seats.

As the Conservatives remained stagnant both UKIP and the BNP filled the void in the right of politics, taking advantage of increasing anti-immigration sentiment in areas like Walsall and Stoke. Unlike other areas the Greens made little progress with much of the anti-war vote going to the Liberal Democrats or the Respect Party.
2003 West Midlands Senate Election.png

"I have said to the party we need to address rural voters concerns, we need our regional politics to return to the local, to peoples village halls, farms and homes. If we don't then I won't be the first Labour casualty in the Midlands" - Former Senator Peter Bradley speaking to ITV after losing his senate seat to UKIP's Rustie Lee (2003)
Last edited:
I'm curious, why does UKIP keep their OTL name, wouldn't it make more sense for them to be called CIP (Commonwealth Independence Party)?
Right now UKIP is still a Monarchist Party, they don't accept the result of the referendum, so they don't see any reason to change their name. This stays in place until the late 2010s when UKIP splits into a more moderate National Conservative pro-Commonwealth Party and the rump Monarchist UKIP.
2004 Presidential Election Exit Poll

(Big Ben Chimes)



DD - “And our exit poll is saying Micheal Howard has won the first round with 34% of the vote, Mr Blair in second with 32% of the vote, Mr Kennedy with 26% and Mr Knapman with 8%. We also see the results of the 12 Premier elections, and we see Labour on six Premiers, down four, the Conservatives on three, up three, both the Liberal Democrats and Democratic Unionists have gained a Premier each and Ken Livingstone remains top dog as an Independent in London. Finally Britain has decisively voted “No” to the Euro with 63% of voters saying “no thanks” to the single currency. Phew, a lot of results tonight. What do we make of those Andrew?”

Andrew Marr - “Well it’s clearly bad news for Tony Blair considering just a few weeks ago we thought he would comfortably walk this election. But this result is incredibly close: all three of the main parties are within the 3% margin of error of making it into the final round. If this poll is correct our next President will be decided by those Kennedy Lib Dem voters. Will those university cities return to Labour in the final round or have no further preferences? Will those rural eurosceptic areas in the South West that voted Lib Dem put Howard second?”

DD - “A strong showing for Mr Knapman as well. 8% is considerably above where most polls put his campaign.”

AM - “Yes certainly with the Tories moving to a “Commonwealth acceptance” position, those hardcore monarchists across the country had nowhere else to go, however we do expect them to return to the fold in the second round, meaning Howard’s lead will grow even further.

DD- “However on a regional level Labour still appears to dominate, they still have as many Premiers as all the other parties combined!”

AM - “Yes, if Howard does win this election he’ll still have a Labour Parliament, a Liberal Senate and a lot of Labour nations and regions to contend with.”

DD - “This isn’t to mention that result for the Euro, an absolute landslide nearly two to one.”

AM - “Yes it appears Blair may have miscalculated having the Presidential election and Euro referendum on the same day, I believe the plan was to drag Blair voters out to vote YES, but it appears it has energised NO voters out to vote and they’ve gone for Howard.”

DD - “This is gearing up to be fascinating night, of course our first real indication will be when we get results from one of the nations or regions, old rivals Sunderland and Newcastle have now teamed up to try and make the North East the first to declare, it's looking like their closest rivals will be Northern Ireland, of course in Northern Ireland we’re expecting a much higher unionist turnout then in 99, bad news for Mr Blair as all the mainstream unionist parties have endorsed Howard, also bad news for Vice-Premier Mark Durkan who’s looking to replace his retiring boss John Hume. Phillippa Thomas is in Belfast watching the results. Philipa over to you…”
Last edited:
Closer Look, 2004 Euro Referendum in Northern Ireland
DD - "We're being told the Euro referendum results are due imminently for Northern Ireland, of course because there's only two options counting goes a lot faster, before we see the results, Tony King if that exit poll is correct how many votes should we expect for NO?"

TK - "Well of course if anywhere is going to vote for the Euro it's going to be Northern Ireland, since they share a land border with a euro country they'll benefit greatly economically, if our exit poll is correct we're expecting something around 340,000 votes for NO."

DD - "340,000 votes, write that down we now go to Belfast to hear the Northern Irish returning officer."

RO - "I, Dennis Stanley, Chief Returning officer for the Nation of Northern Ireland hereby give notice that the total of votes was as follows, NO, Britain should not join the Euro 349,951. YES, Britain should join the Euro 267,247, with that the voters of Northern Ireland duly give notice the preference of "NO, Britain should not join the Euro.

DD - "Looks like the exit poll was pretty much bang on, or even under-estimated the strength of a NO vote."

TK - "Yes off two or three percent but that's to be expected. Well I think it's safe to safe the dream of Britain in the Euro is pretty much dead. If Northern Ireland won't vote to join the Euro then I can't see the Midlands or North East voting to join. This is more bad news for the Blair camp as our data has shown NO voters tend to vote for Howard so if our exit pol is underestimating NO voters, it is probably also underestimating Howard voters."

DD - "We now go over to Jeremy Paxman who has former Buckingham Chief of Staff and North East MP David Miliband on the line"

JP - "Thank you David. (Turns to Miliband) This looks like a night of many defeats for your tribe Mr Miliband, not only has the North East failed in being the first to declare but it's looking increasingly likely that your man is going to get the sack..."

Last edited:
2004 Election Results

The BBC's election night team

“We have some breaking news. Micheal Howard has officially received over 50% of the vote and has been elected President. Again Michael Howard is the new President of the Commonwealth.”
- David Dimbleby (2004)

At Labour HQ in Sunderland the atmosphere went from cautiously optimistic, to nervous, to dejected. One question rested in the mind of Labour activists everywhere. What the hell happened?

There we several answers given by top Labour figures.
  1. A “backlash” in rural and northern constituencies to the fast social and political change in Britain, there was still a lot of people resentful of the Commonwealth and they voted for Howard, this point of view was favoured by figures like Jack Straw and John Prescott
  2. The Iraq War, the simple truth was University City voters who had turned out in their droves in 1999 had either voted for Kennedy, spoilt their ballot, or not turned up at all. This was favoured by figures on the Labour Left such as former Justice Secretary Robin Cook and defeated Hillingdon Mayor John McDonnell
  3. Ken Livingstone, those close to Blair blamed Livingstone’s primary challenge, which led the party divided into the general election. They blamed Livingstone’s failure to endorse Blair for the poor final round turnout in inner London. This was reportedly Blair's and Mandelson's preferred explanation.
  4. The Euro, Alistair Campbell and Peter Mandelson’s relationship never recovered. Campbell arguing that the Blair campaign had tied itself to a giant euro shaped rock, quietly Brown agreed

Over the course of the night Ken Livingstone clashed with Jeremy Paxman. He denied being to blame for Blair's defeat.

“I know for a fact if Ken had just got on board like we begged him to we would have won the 2004 election, probably the 2009 election as well and we could have avoided all the nastiness that followed.”
- A Journey, Tony Blair (2010)

Meanwhile in Bexley the atmosphere was ecstatic, the Conservatives had been particularly nervous with one poll released on the eve of the election showing them third place. Even as the first round result there was still fear that Lib Dem voters would flood to Blair, or UKIP voters wouldn’t deliver come the final round. These fears were unfounded. Howard won in a landslide among Knapman voters and whilst many Kenendy voters went to Blair many of them decided not to put a second preference. The South West rallied behind Kennedy in the first round, then swung comfortably behind Howard. Now Howard was the President of the Commonwealth. As Howard gave his victory speech, he was thinking about the decision ahead of him. To keep or sack Brown? It would be a big risk, getting the Liberal Democrats on side would be difficult and would destroy the collaborative image he had tried to build. Who would he even pick? He had been the Conservative Parliamentary Leader so there was no obvious PM candidate. Despite all these doubts Howard knew one thing, it’d be hard, near impossible to change Britain in the way he wanted with a Labour PM.


Howard Campaign HQ applauds for Britain's New President

“I am enormously proud that during this election campaign we were the only political party to take a stand on the issues that matter to the British people. To stand up for the forgotten majority to put forward a positive agenda for a brighter, better Britain. We have taken a huge step forward and I want to thank everyone for the fantastic support. We have taken a huge step forward but there's much, much more to be done. We have got to keep listening, we have got to keep learning. We have got to work hard, not just nationally but locally. We have got to keep on standing up for the forgotten majority of our country, the people who work hard, who pay their dues, who play by the rules and who help themselves.”
- Micheal Howard’s Victory Speech at Campaign HQ (2004)

For the Liberal Democrats the result had been a bitter end to the hopeful last five years. Since the Commonwealth formed the party had gone from strength to strength, gaining momentum, seats and even ministers. It seemed like the party was on the verge of breakthrough. But it was not to be. Blame began to swirl around the party, was leaving the coalition a mistake? Did the party spend too much time banging on about Iraq? Or was it’s full-throat defence of the Euro? Was it Kennedy’s personal issues?


Kennedy shot a quick video early in the morning of the 11th, thanking Lib Dem activists for their hard work

However the party had reason to be hopeful, Steve Webb had been elected Premier of the South West, and a Lib Dem headed coalition ran the South West Parliament, giving the party’s its first uncontested fiefdom.

Finally for UKIP the election had been a pleasant surprise. The party expected to get around 3% of the vote and got nearly double that. Knapman had given the party a respectable face, establishing it as Britain’s fourth party. Adding to UKIP’s success it’s Premier candidates in the South East and South West both got more votes than the Labour incumbents.

“June the 10th will be remember not just as our referendum on Euro membership, but membership of the whole EU. UKIP sent an earthquake through Westminster. The voters have stood up and said: Give us our country back!” - Nigel Farage speaking at the regional count centre in Brighton (2004)

As the removal vans made their way to Buckingham, Micheal Howard picked up the phone. “David, how are you doing? I think it’s time we had a quick chat.”


Howard takes a congratulatory call from US President Bush

Which explanation for Tony Blair’s loss the 2004 election do you find most convincing and why? (30 marks) - A Level Politics Exam (2019)
Last edited:
2004 Election Details and Wikiboxes
Lab - 7 (-3)
Conservative - 2 (+2)
Liberal Democrats - 1 (+1)
Democratic Unionist Party - 1 (+1)
Independent (Ken Livingstone) - 1 (-)

Labour 55 (-19)
Con - 15 (+14)
Liberal Democrats 7 (+5)
Democratic Unionist Party - 1 (+1)
2004 Commonwalth Presidential Election.png

Commonwealth Euro Referendum 2004.png
Last edited:
2004 Part 3, Strange Bedfellows

Tony Blair's removal vans leave Buckingham Palace

The moving process in the Commonwealth was swift and brutal. By Monday Howard had sworn the oath and taken up residence in Buckingham. As the giddy excitement passed Howard had to start making important appointments to his Buckingham staff. He decided to keep on Guy Black, who had been his personal Press Secretary since the 2002 Parliamentary elections. For his Chief of Staff he knew he wanted a younger rising star who could appeal to One-Nation Conservatives and help the Libertarian image he wanted to portray. He shortlisted three names, first was recently elected Oxford Mayor David Cameron. Whilst Cameron was certainly ambitious he had only just been elected Oxford’s Mayor and it would be a very bad look for him to immediately move to Buckingham, one to watch though. Another option would be Nicky Morgan, the chairwoman of East Midlands Conservatives and his Midlands campaign manager, she could help solidify the gains the party had made in the Midlands, promote strong links with regional parties, and it would represent a glass ceiling broken in the first days of Howard’s administration. Finally there was Hague’s former Director of Political Affairs and North West MP George Osborne, Osborne had experience working at a high level and was quickly making a name for himself in Parliament, but Howard decided Osborne would serve best in Parliament, the decision was made and Nicky Morgan was summoned to Buckingham.


Morgan declined a Presidential Car and instead walked to Buckingham upon being summoned

“I was incredibly surprised to get the call from Micheal, I guess he must have been impressed by the work I’d done in the Midlands, but yes it was an brilliant opportunity, one I couldn’t turn down.”
- Nicky Morgan speaking to Parliamentary report on women in politics (2012)

Now was the issue of the Prime Minister. Getting a Conservative PM in the current Parliament would be difficult but Howard decided he would at least have to try. After appointing a “wet” as his Chief of Staff and working with the Lib Dems, Howard knew he had to throw the right a bone in order to keep the party onside. He had two names in mind: Liam Fox and David Davis. Davis had been his old rival in the primary, he could hardly be accused of tyranny if he replaced Brown with a political rival, Davis was also fairly popular and his military background could help him win re-election in 2005 if everything went to plan. Fox on the other hand was an arch-social Conservative, whilst he was popular with the party, the Lib Dems would never accept him, and the country probably wouldn’t. Davis was the obvious choice.


Howard announces Davis in a Buckingham Press Conference

Howard summoned Brown and informed him he would be requesting his resignation. Under the rules of the Commonwealth the President would then have to name his appointment, this appointment would then need to seek the approval of Parliament, against any other candidates that came forward in a ranked ballot. The incumbent could nominate himself, as could any other MP that could find 27 others to nominate them. Howard and Davis had two weeks to build a functioning majority and so cars were sent to pick up Nigel Farage and Menzies Campbell.

“Last Thursday the British people gave me a mandate, to clean up our hospitals, bring crime down and get more police on the street. However I do not believe Mr Brown is the right man to deliver on these promises. There is only one man who can meet these challenges with an Harvard brain and SAS determination. That man is David Davis” - Howard announces him nomination of David Davis (2004)

Farage was easy. UKIP didn’t demand cabinet posts or junior minister posts, instead they wanted a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU and soon. Farage wanted to build on the momentum of the Euro’s rejection and if Davis ran on that platform he’d have UKIP’s support. Campbell was more difficult, firstly a EU referendum was completely off the cards, secondly the Liberal Democrats wanted a full withdrawal of British troops from Iraq.

As the talks stalled the talks ticked along Gordon Brown had his own discussions with the Liberal Democrats, demands were the same on Iraq and Campbell wanted tution fees scrapped. These talks also stalled. Brown was confident the Liberal Democrats wouldn’t support a Davis led, UKIP backed Government. Brown called Campbells bluff and refused to make a deal. The two weeks wrapped up with no agreement between any of the parties. There were rumours of the anti-war left or one-nation Tories putting forward a PM candidate but this never materialised.

“Alan Simpson approached me quietly saying that some in the Socialist Caucus were looking at putting forward an anti-war candidate and would I be interested in nominating them? Whilst embarrassing the Government was a tempting prospect we didn’t want to be a stepping stone in yet another Livingstone esque vanity project.” - SNP Parliamentary Leader Roseanna Cunningham quoted in the Guardian article “Clinging on to Labour” (2004)

Commonwealth 2004 PM election.png

Brown won the first round of the PM election handily with the support of the SDLP, Davis came in second with votes from UKIP and the Unionist Parties. Campbell came last with the help of the Alliance Party. Campbell withdrew and announced that Liberal Democrat MPs would be abstaining on the final round. Campbell said he could not prop up a pro-war Labour administration nor an extreme right Conservative Government. However functionally he was allowing Brown to take the reigns, in the final round Brown won with a majority of over 100 votes.

“Thank you Mr Speaker. I am Honoured and humbled by the trust this house has given me for the third time. No one could have foreseen all the events that Britain has been through since 1999. But tested again and again the resilience of the British people has been powerful proof of the character of our country. We are entering uncharted waters of divided Government, but division doesn’t have to mean gridlock. Disagreement doesn’t have to mean conflict. We can work together, we must work together. For the sake of our values, our schools, our hospitals. For the sake of the British people” - Gordon Brown’s speech after being re-elected Prime Minister (2007)

Commonwealth of Britain Cabinet 2004-
President - Micheal Howard (Conservative)
Vice President - Micheal Ancram (Conservative)
Prime Minister - Gordon Brown (Labour)
Senate Leader - David Laws (Liberal Democrat)
Foreign Secretary - John Reid (Labour)
Chancellor - Andrew Smith (Labour)
Home Secretary - Margaret Beckett (Labour)
Justice Secretary - Stephen Byers (Labour)
Defence Secretary - Geoff Hoon (Labour)
Health Secretary - Estelle Morris (Labour)
Business Secretary - Tessa Jowell (Labour)
Board of Trade President - Helen Liddell (Labour)
Work and Pensions Secretary - Paul Murphy (Labour)
Education Secretary - Hilary Armstrong (Labour)
Environment Secretary - Peter Goldsmith (Labour)
Housing Secretary - Ruth Kelly (Labour)
Transport Secretary -Alan Johnson (Labour)
Northern Ireland Secretary - Hillary Benn (Labour)
Scotland Secretary - Douglas Alexander (Labour)
Wales Secretary - Peter Hain (Labour)
Digital Culture Media and Sport Secretary - Valerie Amos (Labour)
International Development Secretary - Charlie Falconer (Labour)

It was official, Brown was the Prime Minister and Howard the President, the Commonwealth’s first period of cohabitation began. Brown formed his new cabinet, defeated South East Premier Andrew Smith fell upwards, being made Chancellor. Blair loyalists such as Charlie Falconer found themselves demoted. With none of the major parties having a strong majority in anything the parties would have to barter and trade to get things done, or risk the young Commonwealth falling apart.


Tellers announce Gordon Brown's reelection as Prime Minister

“Gordon Brown successfully avoided the gridlock that crippled other periods of cohabitation”, discuss (30 Marks) - A Level History Exam (2019)
Last edited: