The Tory Debacle: Is Thatcher to Blame?

Jonathan Clarke and others discuss the reasons for the Tory electoral defeat in May 1997.

Issue: Winter 1997-1998

The devastating rebuff administered to the Conservative Party by
British voters in May of this year came as no surprise. The party was
tired, publicly split on policy, and scandal-ridden. The voters did
the party a favor by granting it respite from the rigors of office.
But where does it go from here?

Ten years ago Lord Carrington wrote in his memoirs of the advantages
of his time in Australia as governor-general in lending perspective
to his assessment of Britain's true interests. Physical distance
allowed him to see the wood from the trees. His insight can be used
today in analyzing where the Conservatives went wrong. For the future
health of the conservative cause in Britain, it is important that the
party use its downtime well. It must get its post-mortem right.

You must be a subscriber of The National Interest to access this article. If you are already a subscriber, please activate your online access. Not a subscriber? Become a subscriber today!