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Assess the view that Thatcher’s electoral success was a result of the weakness of the Labour Party

Intro

Para 1 – Labour Weakness
1st election – 1979
* Failed to manage economy and control unions
* Winter of discontent
2nd election – 1983
* Poor defence policy
* Disunity
* No longer the ‘party of the working class’
* Unelectable face – leader/policies/general demeanour
* Moved further left but electorate moved RIGHT
3rd election – 1987
* Labour still unpopular because of their deep splits
Para 2 – Economic Success
1st election – 1979

2nd election – 1983
* Slow and steady growth from 1981
* Economic recovery underway

3rd election - 1987
* Average weekly earnings rose 14% - real terms
* Steady cutting of personal taxation
* 1987 – ¾ of way towards stated target of 25% standard rate * Stock market boom in 2nd term
* Privatisation
Para 3 – Situational Factors
1st election – 1979

2nd election – 1983
* Material advance of individual had begun to supplant the more traditional factors in determining political verdict 3rd election – 1987
* Redrawn boundaries shich gave advantage to Conservatives Para 4 – Conservative Strengths
1st election – 1979
* Thatcher’s successful performance in the House during debates on Finance Bill – 1974-75 2nd election – 1983
* Residual strength in southern and eastern England and greater London * Coincided with rising prosperity in expanding towns of southern England and East Anglia *
3rd election - 1987

Luck
North Sea Gas and Oil revenue
* £8 billion into economy
* 10% of all tax revenues
Falklands
* Thatcher sent naval army to protect island from Argentine dictator * May 2nd 1982 – Argentine Battleship Belgrano torpedoed * May 18th – Task force land
* Retake islands in 3 weeks
* 255 British deaths
* Success
* Rise in patriotism
* - Thatcher = powerful leader who stood up for Britain against...
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