From a left-wing perspective, I have always considered the miners' strike to be the pivotal moment in the Thatcher premiership. It broke Labour's base and shattered the trade union movement. Moreover, it allowed Thatcher to pursue many of her most rightist policies as much of her first government had been focused upon monetarism and fighting immediate inflation, less so upon the long-term political and structural change of direction that she eventually came to symbolize. However, a year before the strike even began, it took a perfect storm to get Thatcher reelected. The Falklands war is usually pointed to as the reason. The wave of popularity a victorious war almost always brings is attributed to Thatcher. Yet, despite this, the Conservative Party's support fell by almost 2% from 1979-1983. Thus, even with Falkland, I'd point to the election of Michael Foot over Denis Healey and the resulting collapse and split of the Labour Party as the primary reason. After a breakthrough resurgence in February 1974, in which they received approx. 19%, the Liberal Party had been in decline, falling to 18% in October of '74 and 13% in '79. This loss of influence can be combined with political contentious time, the likes of which traditionally the post-war Liberal Party had fared poorly in. Thus, without their Alliance with the SDP and opposed by a more moderate Healey lead Labour Party, it would be hard to imagine the Liberals winning more then 10% of the vote. If we then safely assume that the 15% of additional votes for the Alliance came from dissatisfied Labour moderates, we can easily see a '83 election in which Labour wins, albeit narrowly. The question then, what is the result? Even a narrow Labour win in '83 would present the party with its biggest opportunity in 40 years. I disagree strongly personally with Thatcher's monetarist policies, but they would allow Labour to re enter as government a country with significantly lower inflation. Furthermore the economy had hit rock bottom by 1982 in terms of unemployment. It could not get worse. Thus, as unemployment fell rapidly, as it would from any logical economic perspective, the Labour Party would be able to claim credit for this. So even though their policies with a small majority would likely focus on job creation and moderate goals, their position would be significantly strengthened and they would almost certainly win a much more significant majority in the next elections, likely in '87 or '88. Therefore, as we enter the 90's, we have a strong, still socialist Labour Party with a trade union movement of surviving significance. On the other side, Thatcher, now in her mid-60's and having lost back to back elections, will be ill-able to fight of a challenge from moderate opposition in the party. Beyond these broad political trends, though, is a much different country from a Thatcherite 1990. So that's what I'm asking here. What does Britain look like in 1990? Or for that matter in 1985 of 1995 or 2005 without a lengthy Conservative reign and, more importantly, without many of Thatchers' policies?