The Conservatives are back, and back with a bang – two election wins in a row and, providing they can hold things together till 2020, in a pretty good position to win another. But many questions about their recent past, present and future still remain. Just why did the world’s oldest and most successful political party dump Margaret Thatcher only to commit electoral suicide under John Major? And what stopped the Tories getting their act together until David Cameron came along? Has Cameron changed his party as much some have claimed or has his leadership, both in opposition and in government, involved more compromise – and more Conservatism – than we realize? Finally, what, and who, comes after Cameron? The answers, as this accessible and gripping book shows, are as intriguing and provocative as the questions. Based on in-depth research and interviews with the key players, Tim Bale explains how and why the Tories lost power in 1997 – and how and why they have eventually been able to rediscover their winning ways, even if internal tensions and external challenges mean they still can’t take anything for granted. The answer, he suggests, lies in the people, the power structures, the ideas, and the very different interests of those involved. This second edition is a must-read for anyone wanting to understand what makes the Tories tick.
TIM BALE is Professor of Politics at Queen Mary University of London, UK, specializing in British and European party politics.
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