PDF The Lib-Lab Pact: A Parliamentary Agreement, 1977–78

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Mandate democracy also means, of course, that MPs have their post confirmed if they perform well. Some criticise FPTP for reducing the role of smaller parties but too broad a set of representative outcomes will only lead to fragmentation and, ultimately, to less stable and secure government.

Hung parliaments: a short history

It is however apparent that general elections provide the cohesion and impetus for party politics to take place and this contributes to the strength, unity and stability which results. Minority parties with extreme views, that is, parties likely to damage the democratic system and create further division, are denied representation by their inability to concentrate support in fixed geographical areas. Less extreme but still rather peripheral parties like UKIP can still win seats in the UK but broad national representation is not available to them, and groups like the BNP are entirely without a stake in the system and are easily isolated.

The public are in the main content with the electoral system and a low turnout of just over 40 per cent also implies there are many issues currently of a more pressing nature to citizens than voting reform. Moreover, although turnout is relatively weak, this has also been the case where other voting systems are used in the UK and clearly the public belief in the effectiveness and efficiency of FPTP has been key to their recent support of it at the ballot box. Join s of fellow Politics teachers and students all getting the tutor2u Politics team's latest resources and support delivered fresh in their inbox every morning.

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The Lib-Lab pact was not a disaster | Andy Beckett | Opinion | The Guardian

Cart Account Log in Sign up. Politics Explore Politics Search Go. Politics Reference library. Subscribe to email updates from tutor2u Politics Join s of fellow Politics teachers and students all getting the tutor2u Politics team's latest resources and support delivered fresh in their inbox every morning. You're now subscribed to receive email updates! Print page. You might also like. UK Constitutional Reform Study notes. Voting reform Study notes. Proportional voting Study notes. Hybrid system Study notes.

Electoral system Study notes. Electoral reform Study notes. The argument still continues as to whether it could have been won by more determination on the part of David Steel.


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He thought not and his style has always been not to confront the obvious. On the other hand, David Owen and Chris Mayhew, a defector to Liberal from Labour three years before, believed that Labour's fear of being turned out by a Thatcher-led Conservative party would have made it possible. The most David Steel achieved was an undertaking from Callaghan that he personally would support PR for Europe and state so in advance, thus recommending it to Cabinet colleagues and Labour MPs. The key vote in the House was lost by to It was a great disappointment to those who had set so much store on winning it but, in fact, it was a considerable step forward in the eternal struggle for electoral reform.

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Steel's biggest disappointment was over the lack of Conservative support which, he admits, he was naive in relying on. There was no way in which Conservative MPs were going to do anything to prop up the Pact.

The Pact was very much David Steel's creation and it was always clear that he was going to "manage" it and to undertake its key negotiations personally, often without any colleague present. Kirkup's use of official papers exposes more than known at the time of how far Steel ignored party decisions and votes that were aimed at strengthening his negotiating position.

It is recorded that, in his negotiations with the Prime Minister on the renewal of the Pact "he once again did not raise any of the Party Council or Steering Committee recommendations. These were, alas, consistently bad, not just during the Pact but also later during the Alliance and the negotiations over merger with the SDP. He was permanently exasperated with the party and even put his disparagement with it on record.

5 April 1976 BBC1 - John Craven's Newsround (James Callaghan)

I am sure that this simply provoked negative reactions from a party that wished co-operate and which those in charge worked hard to be helpful and supportive. Certainly he suffered ill-timed and uncalled for vicious personal attacks from Cyril Smith, supported by David Alton, at the first meeting of the parliamentary party following the election. Party officers were always conscious of the severe electoral consequences of open disloyalty to the leader and, however provoked and disparaged, they swallowed hard and maintained public solidarity.

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This was apparent at the special Liberal Assembly towards the end of the Pact. The September Assembly, faced with the impending renegotiation, agreed to leave it to the party president, Gruff Evans, the party Chair, Geoff Tordoff, an d the Assembly chair, myself to call a Special Assembly as and when needed. We inevitably became known as the Three Wise Men and I recall receiving a 'phone call midway through December when the familiar nasal tones of Clement Freud asked, "Can I speak to a wise man before Christmas?

We called this Assembly for 21 January and carefully worded the motions for debate to enable the "for" and "against" cases to be fully presented and debated. Liberal Democrats. Wrigglesworth —90 Kennedy —94 Maclennan —98 Maddock — Dholakia —04 Hughes —08 Scott —10 Farron —14 Brinton from Current Members of Parliament Frontbench team Chief whip. Liberal Democrat Federal Conference. Liberal Party UK, Liberal Party UK. Palmerston —65 Gladstone —75 Hartington —80 Gladstone —94 Rosebery —96 Harcourt —98 Campbell-Bannerman — Asquith — Granville —65 Russell —68 Granville —91 Kimberley —94 Rosebery —96 Kimberley — Spencer —05 Ripon —08 Crewe — Samuel —31 Sinclair —35 Harris —45 vacant —49 M Lloyd George —51 vacant —62 Wade —64 vacant —76 Pardoe vacant Beith — First Gladstone ministry —74 Second Gladstone ministry —85 Third Gladstone ministry Fourth Gladstone ministry —94 Rosebery ministry —95 Campbell-Bannerman ministry —08 First Asquith ministry — Asquith coalition ministry —16 Lloyd George ministry — Liberal Assembly.

Labour Party. History of the Labour Party.

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Constituency Labour Party. Organisations associated with the Labour Party. Hidden categories: Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from March All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from January All articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from April Namespaces Article Talk.

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Languages Add links. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Breakaway parties Liberal Party UK, Leadership elections Thorpe Steel. Governments Single party Liberal governments First Gladstone ministry —74 Second Gladstone ministry —85 Third Gladstone ministry Fourth Gladstone ministry —94 Rosebery ministry —95 Campbell-Bannerman ministry —08 First Asquith ministry — History Main History of the Labour Party.