Introduction
in The Conservatives in Crisis

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book examines the Conservative Party's response to the crisis it faced after the 1997 defeat. It examines the Conservative Party leadership, parliamentary party and voluntary party in the Hague period. The book focuses on Conservative policy and ideology, and examines the party's electoral performance after 1997. It illustrates the predictable results of the Conservatives' failure to develop an attractive and consistent narrative. The book suggests that the party leader plays a less important role in Conservative recoveries than a distinctive policy programme and an effective party organisation. It highlights the difficult dilemmas, which confronted the party after 1997, notably on economic policy where the urge to promise tax cuts conflicted with voters' demands for public spending on essential services.

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The Conservatives in Crisis

The Tories after 1997

Editors: Mark Garnett and Philip Lynch

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