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The new politicsLiberal Conservatism or same old Tories?$
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Peter King

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847428547

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847428547.001.0001

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Towards the new politics

Towards the new politics

Chapter:
(p.85) Four Towards the new politics
Source:
The new politics
Author(s):

Peter King

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847428547.003.0005

On May 11, 2010, David Cameron became the youngest Prime Minister for nearly 200 years and the Conservative Party had returned to power for the first time in 13 years. As Prime Minister he is just as powerful as if he had a Conservative majority, and that — purely Conservative — government would still have to prioritise and compromise on certain issues. This chapter discusses the 2010 election and its immediate aftermath. During the election, the Conservatives did not use the word ‘progressive’ much. Any sense of radicalism was downplayed and as the election went on it became ever harder to state what particular message the Conservatives were peddling. The chapter elucidates the formation of the coalition. Those who supported Cameron saw sense in the coalition and argued for its longevity, but those who opposed him were inclined to see it as doomed or unprincipled. It is suggested that the formation of the coalition is an example of pragmatism, of a party focusing on the surface of things and on the world as it is. The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, have been expedient and have both acted in an entirely practical manner, rather than according to rigid and abstract principles. The chapter also discusses the influence of the Liberal Democrats and illustrates one example of the coalition government's programme to assess whether it does represent a new politics.

Keywords:   Conservative Party, politics, government, election, coalition, Liberal Democrats

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