The end of Conservative dominance (1990-2007)

mcleishy's version from 2015-04-17 14:09

Section 1

Question Answer
When did the little known John Major become Foreign Secretary?1989
Would did Major's wife say as he entered Downing Street?"Things like this just don't happen to people like us"
One reason for Major winning the leadership was that people felt he would solidify the Thatcher legacy, was this completely the case?No, his natural instinct was to unify the party
What appeared to be Major's main asset? His calm temperament and ability to avoid making enemies
What happened to the opinion polls after Major became leader?The Conservatives jumped ahead
Which Foreign Office and Education Ministers kept their jobs in 1990?Douglas Hurd and Kenneth Clarke
Who did Major appoint as Chancellor, Environment Secretary, and Party Chairman? Normal Lamont, Michael Heseltine, and Chris Pattem
When did the First Gulf War reach a successful conclusion?March 1991
What speech did Major make in 1991, that was well recieved by pro-Europeans?He said that he wanted to see Britain at the "very heart of Europe"
The Maastricht treaty was agreed in December 1991, and signed in February 1992, what opt-outs did he secure which won over doubters in the Conservative Party?The single currency and the Social Chapter
What was a major reason for Major not calling an election until 1992?The Maastricht Treaty
When was the Poll Tax abandoned, in favour of the new Council Tax?February 1991
How much was wasted on attempts to implement the Poll Tax?£1.5 Billion
When characterised the recession which followed the 'Lawson Boom'?Declining manufacturing output, high interest rates, a rise in unemployment, and a slump in house prices
Unemployment was 1.6 million in mid-1991, compared to what in early 1992?2.6 Million
Why were Conservative advisers particularly worried about the 1990's recession, which some home-owners trapped in 'negative equity', with many having their house repossessed?This affected Tory middle classes in the South, whereas previous recessions had impacted upon the industrial north
Major was forced to resort to high spending and borrowing before the election, half of this was forced by unemployment, what was the other half on? Subsidies on transport, and lavish spending on the NHS
Which Labour Shadow Chancellor, in 1992, gave an image of moderation and compliance? John Smith
John Major called an election in March 1992, the last possible opportunity, what did Michael White of the Guardian say about this?"these are the least favourable circumstances for re-electing a sitting government since 1964"
What were the Conservatives, Labour, and the Liberals, polling at before the 1992 election? 29%, 41%, and 15%
What did polls on the eve of the election predict?The Conservatives winning by 303 to 298
By what margin of victory did the Conservatives win the 1992 election? 336 seats to 271
What led Kinnock to be accused of over-confidence?At a lavishly staged election party in Sheffield, Kinnock was depicted as a conquering hero
What did John Smith do, which allowed the Conservative to scare off middle class voters?He made commitments on taxation
Despite losing his seat in Bath, who an effective part chairman? Chris Patten
Major won credit for his old-fashioned 'soap-box' politics, giving impromptu speeches on the street, what was one such town in which he did this?Luton
Why were the Conservatives somewhat forgiven for the economic recession? Memories of Labour's incompetence in the 1970's and 80's were still too strong

Section 2

Question Answer
On what day was "Black Wednesday"? 16 September 1992
When did Britain join the Exchange Rate Mechanism?October 1990
The ERM was created in 1979, why did Britain not join earlier?Thatcher had resisted doing so
What exchange rate was Britain required to keep, and what was the minimum allowable rate2,95 German Marks to the Pound, and 2.77
Before Black Wednesday the Exchange Rate was 10%, what did the Chancellor Norman Lamont change it to? 12% then 15%
How did the Bank of England attempt to avoid devaluation? Spending huge amounts of money buying up pounds
Which members of the Cabinet did Major and Lamont call to Admiralty House for an emergency meeting on 'Black Wednesday'?Douglas Hurd, Kenneth Clarke, and Michael Heseltine
What did Norman Lamont announce at 7 PM on Black Wednesday?Britain had withdrew from the exchange rate mechanism
What were interest rates finally fixed at, at the end of 'Black Wednesday'?12%
What was the long-term impact of Black Wednesday?The image of the Conservatives as the party of economic competence was destroyed
How long after Black Wednesday did Lamont step down as Chancellor? 7 Months
The Conservative Party was weakened, they fell in the opinion polls, and were savagely criticised by opposition leaders. So why did some Conservatives describe the Exchange Rate nonsense, as 'White Wednesday'? Euroskeptics thought it brought Britain further away from European integration
How catastrophic were the long-term impacts of Black Wednesday? Not very, the economy was stabilised shortly after, it was the Conservative Party who suffered the long-term damage?
Major was criticised heavily by pro-Conservative Newspapers, and his personal authority was damaged, what was Labour's average lead in the opinion polls throughout 1992 following Black Wednesday?17%
Why did some people, including Norman Lamont, perceive leaving the ERM as beneficial? It prevented Britain from having to keep interest rates high to protect the stability of sterling. It also allowed exchange rates to float downwards, which helped British exports/
What happened economically following 1993?Economic conditions were being to improve, unemployment rates slowed down, and the housing market began to pick up.
What was reduced as inflation came under control following 1993?Government Borrowing was Reduced
Who replaced Lamont as Chancellor in 1993, and what were his positive traits?Kenneth Clarke, who was a good communicator, and emanated confidence.
Why, following 1993, did the British economy begin to outperform its foreign counterparts, In particular the sluggish Germany economy struggling with the costs of unification?Financial deregulation and flexible working practices
When were the coal industries, and railways, privatised, buoying up the stock market?1994 and 1996
By 1997, productivity was down, consumer spending was up, car ownership was up, house prices were up, and business was supportive of the government,, so why did the Conservatives not benefit?The 'feel-good' factor was missing
In what year did the government receive secret messages hinting that Sinn Fein was ready to discuss a peace agreement? 1993
Why were Major and his Nothern Ireland secretary Patrick Mayhew, perceived with suspicion by both sets of political leaders in Belfast?The Unionists were fearful of being sold out by the British, while the Republicans had a deep-rooted hostility
Who was the Irish taoiseach with which Major had a good working relationship? Albert Reynolds
What contribution did Bill Clinton make to the Irish peace process? He encouraged Sinn Fein away from their armed struggle
In what year did the IRA announce a ceasefire? 1994
Why was Ian Paisley and his DUP hardliners a hindrance to peace? They did not believe in the sincerity of the IRA's commitment to peace
When did the IRA get impatient, and fire a rocket at 10 Downing Street, and have bombs damage Canary Wharf and the Centre of Manchester?1996
What was the Adrian Mole spoof of John Major? The Secret Diary of John Major aged 47 and three-quarters
What did Spitting Image present John Major as?The Grey-Man
What did satire of John Major depict him as?Well-meaning but bumbling and inadequate
When did Major have his authority undermined as rebel MP's tried to stop him from ratifying the Maastricht Treaty? July 1993
Which euroskeptics expressed active opposition to Major? Bill Cash and Iain Duncan Smith
Who were frequently mentioned as possible Conservative leaders?Michael Portillo and John Redwood
Major called for a leadership election in Summer 1995, how did Tony Blair mock him at the following PMQ's? "I lead my party. You fellow yours."
Which Newspapers called for Michael Portillo to replace Major and "save the party"?The Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, and the Sun
Which Thatcherite and Euroskeptics were outside candidates for the Conservative leadership election?Tony Marlow and Teresa Gorman
Michael Heseltine ensured party-members voted for Major, what was he promised in return?He could become deputy prime-minister
By how much did Major defeat John Redwood in the first leadership ballot?218 to 89
What did the Daily Telegraph write following Major's victory in the leadership election?Major had "inflicted a spell of humility on the scribblers"
What did the Times write following Major's victory in the leadership election?"Yesterday Conservative MP's threw away their last best opportunity to win the nest election"
Did the leadership election end debate regarding Major's position in the party?No, it continued as intensely as before
How did Thatcher encourage the Maastricht rebels?She demanded a referendum to approve the treaty.
When were her memoirs, lukewarm about Major, published?1993
Who did Thatcher support in the Conservative leadership debate?John Redwood
What did comments made by Thatcher before the 1997 election insinuate? She would prefer Tony Blair as Prime-Minister
Why was the sleaze in the Conservative badly particularly bad?John Major had launched a "back to basics" campaign calling for a return to traditional moral values
Which two cabinet members resigned over sex and scandals?David Mellor and Tim Yeo
What did the 1994 Scott enquiry, established by Major, to investigate illegal arms dealing find?Two government ministers had broken rules and been 'economical with the truth'
What were the Conservatives Jeffrey Archer and Jonathan Aitken convicted of?Perjury
Which affair, which troubled the Conservatives, was in the news right through the 1997 election campaign?The 'Cash for Questions' affair
What made the many minor scandals in the Conservative Party appear worse?The sensationalist press, and the way in which many formerly supportive newspapers had deserted the Conservatives. Also, the ruthless efficiency with which it was exploited by Tony Blair.

Section 3

Question Answer
What was the name given to Blair's modernisation of the Labour Party?The "Blair Project"
How did Neil Kinnock, leader from 1983, help modernise the Labour Party? He took on the extreme left, represented by the Militant Tendency and the Bennites
How old was John Smith when he died of a heart attack in 1994?51
How did John Smith reduce the trade union block vote in 1993?He introduced One Member One Vote
How did some Labour traditionalists perceive OMOV?Surrendering to the anti-union philosophy of Thatcher
What did Clause 4, which Blair abolished, commit the Labour Party to?Nationalisation of industry
Which Labour party member monitored public opinion through focus groups, and who co-ordinated public statements, ending the error-prone image of the Labour Party?Phillip Gould and Peter Mandleson
Which Press-Secretary changed Labour's relationship with the press and the media?Alastair Campbell

Section 4

Question Answer
Which Labour Candidate ousted Michael Portillo? Stephen Twigg
What did John Major say many years following his election defeat?"Winning for a fifth time was an absolute impossibility"
Half of Conservative MP's lost their seats, which high-profile personalities did this include?Michael Portillo, David Mellor, Norman Lamont, and Malcolm Rifkind
The Conservatives won 165 MP's and 31% of the vote, when was the last time they got such a low share? 1823
Who many seats did the Conservatives win in Scotland?0
Which party, lavishly financed by Sir James Goldsmith, won no seats, but attracted enough voters to cause Conservative defeats in Marginal seats such as Putney?The Referendum Party
What resulted in the election of several new Liberal MP's?Tactical voting, with Labour supporters voting Liberal to oust Conservatives
What did Major do after losing the election?Go to the oval to watch cricket
What was the demographic of many new Labour MP's?They were young or female

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