Choosing the Tory Leader: Conservative Party Leadership Elections from Heath to Cameron (International Library of Political Studies v. 19)

Choosing the Tory Leader: Conservative Party Leadership Elections from Heath to Cameron (International Library of Political Studies v. 19)

By: Timothy Heppell (author)Hardback

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The means by which the Conservative Party have determined their party leadership has produced some of the most dramatic political theatre of the last four decades. The disputed succession to Harold Macmillan and the discrediting of the magic circle, the procedural changes designed to evict Edward Heath, the brutal political assassination of Margaret Thatcher, the bizarre resignation and immediate re-election of John Major, the putsch against lain Duncan-Smith and the ritual acclamation of Michael Howard, only to have him replaced by the unexpected election of David Cameron have demonstrated the capacity of the Conservatives for political intrigue.In this new evaluation Timothy Heppell assesses the way in which the Conservative Party have determined their leadership since the 1960s. By considering the events that led to each leadership election, the candidates standing and their campaigning strategies, he explains how and why respective victors were elected. He argues the Conservatives have been maladroit when constructing their electoral procedures, they have returned unexpected party leaders, many of whom were to suffer from crises of legitimacy and accusations that they were default leaders. He observes how the dominance of ideology, as a destabilising influence on incumbents and a voting determinant in leadership elections, has been immensely disadvantageous to post-Thatcherite Conservatism.Rather than empowering incumbents to project their leadership credentials outwards to the electorate and against their Labour counterpart, successive post-Thatcherite Conservative party leaders have been forced to look inwards, devoting crucial time to the complexities of intra-party management and the threats against them from rivals from within the parliamentary party. Heppell concludes by asking whether the undisputed mandate and ideological pragmatism of David Cameron indicates that the Conservatives are learning from these mistakes in their own recent past.

About Author

Timothy Heppell is Senior Lecturer in British Politics at the University of Huddersfield.


1 Introduction; 2 The War of the Macmillan Succession: The Catalyst for Electing the Party Leader; 2.1 The Resignation of Harold Macmillan; 2.2 The Lack of an Agreed Successor; 2.3 Bias in the Customary Processes of Consultation?; 2.4 The Outmanoeuvring of Butler; 2.5 The Customary Processes in Disrepute: A Failure of Process and Outcome; 2.6 Conclusion; 3 Edward Heath: The First Democratic Leader of the Conservative Party; 3.1 The Resignation of Alec Douglas-Home; 3.2 Three Candidates Emerge; 3.3 How and why did Edward Heath win?; 3.4 Conclusion; 4 The Peasants Revolt? The Election of Margaret Thatcher; 4.1 The Refusal of Edward Heath to Resign; 4.2 The Challenge of Margaret Thatcher; 4.3 The Ballots: Rejecting Heath and Electing Thatcher; 4.4 Explaining the Election of Margaret Thatcher; 4.4.1 The Influence of Personality: The Anti-Heath interpretation; 4.4.2 The Influence of Ideas: The Ideological Explanation; 4.5 Conclusion; 5 Treachery with a Smile on its Face: The Downfall of Margaret Thatcher; 5.1 The Lightweight Challenge of Anthony Meyer; 5.2 The Heavyweight Challenge of Michael Heseltine; 5.3 The Thatcher versus Heseltine Ballot. 5.4 The Resignation of Margaret Thatcher; 5.5 The Default Victory of John Major; 5.6 Why Thatcher lost and Major triumphed; 5.7 Conclusion; 6 Put Up of Shut Up: John Redwood Challenges John Major; 6.1 The Evolution of the Put Up or Shut Up strategy; 6.2. The Implementation of the Put Up or Shut Up strategy; 6.3 The Validity of the Put Up or Shut Up strategy; 6.3.1 The Vote of Confidence Thesis; 6.3.2 Another Default Major Victory; 6.4 Conclusion; 7 You Cannot be Serious: The Election of William Hague; 7.1 The Resignation of John Major; 7.2 Profiling the Multiple Candidates; 7.3 Evaluating the Multiple Ballots; 7.4. Identifying the Multiple Legitimacy Problems of Hague; 7.5 Conclusion; 8 The Quiet Man Emerges: The Election of Iain Duncan-Smith; 8.1 The Resignation of William Hague; 8.2 New Leadership Election, New Leadership Election Procedures; 8.3 The Candidates: Two Heavyweights, Three Lightweights; 8.4 The Parliamentary Ballots; 8.5 The Party Membership Ballot; 8.6 A Failure of Process and a Flawed Outcome; 8.7 Conclusion; 9 Back to the Future: Michael Howard becomes Conservative Party Leader; 9.1 The Credibility Gap: The Limitations of Iain Duncan-Smith; 9.2 The Procedural Dilemma; 9.3 The Brutal Execution of Iain Duncan-Smith; 9.4 The Unopposed Coronation of Michael Howard; 9.5 Conclusion; 10 The Triumph of the Modernizers: The Election of David Cameron; 10.1 The Prolonged Resignation of Michael Howard; 10.2 Four Candidates Emerge; 10.3 The Parliamentary Ballots; 10.4 The Party Membership Ballot; 10.5 Explaining the Modernizers Triumph; 10.6 Conclusion.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781845114862
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 288
  • ID: 9781845114862
  • ISBN10: 1845114868

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