The British General Election of 1997

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The British General Election of 1997


by David Butler (Author), Dennis Kavanagh (Contributor)

Paperback – 5 Nov 1997 The most authoritative study of a landmark British General Election - the fifteenth book in the renowned Nuffield series of election studies. This highly readable account covers all the salient features - the background, the campaign, the results and the consequences of Labour's victory.

Based on close observation of party headquarters, it explores each party's strategic decisions and their implementation, showing how 1997 saw campaigning techniques at an altogether new level of sophistication. The battle in the media and the constituencies is analysed in detail.

There is a mass of data and thorough statistical analysis of the campaign and results. Plates and cartoons entertainingly illustrate the campaign trail and recapture the drama of the election.

'...as David Butler and Dennis Kavanagh relate, the [1997] election turned out to be as fascinating as any of its predecessors...Yet even so clear-cut contest throws up some paradoxes...British elections are, great begetters of myths and half-baked speculation...The Nuffield election studies, of which this is the fifteenth, were set up in 1945 in order that such dangerous simplifications should be strangled at birth, or at least in their infancy. Published within a few months of the election, they combine the immediacy of insider journalism with the dispassionate and scholarly analysis expected of academics. Like its predecessors, the 1997 volume is first and foremost an authoritative 'Political Wisden' of the campaign and result. But it is also full of the insights that come from years of observation and the wealth of unattributable comment that the authors, with their unmatched access to politicians and their advisers, are well placed to acquire.' - Nick Owen, Oxford Magazine

'This book oozes authority - and it has to, since 1997 was an election to conjure with. All sorts of records were broken...If you want to know the facts of the election, this is the book for you. Butler and Kavanagh's experience and their access to key figures in all the parties also give them a unique inside track on the election. Their opinions count, as well as the facts that they report.' - Alan Leaman, Liberal Democrat News

About the Author
DAVID BUTLER, a Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford, has been associated with the Nuffield election studies since 1945 and has been the author or co-author of each one since 1951. He is well known for his election commentaries on television and radio, and he has written widely on British, American and Australian politics.

DENNIS KAVANAGH is Professor of Politics at the University of Liverpool, having previously been Professor of Politics at the University of Nottingham and Senior Lecturer in Government at Manchester University. His works include Political Science and Political Behaviour, Thatcherism and British Politics, British Politics: Continuities and Change, Politics and Personalities, and The Politics of the Labour Party. He has been the co-author of the Nuffield election studies from 1974 onwards.