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Optional: purchase Union Jacks herePSC 321: British Politics
Bartle & King (eds), Britain at the Polls, 2005.
Publisher's description and Table of Contents.
revised 4 Jan. 2006, compiled by Jeremy Lewis .

Britain at the Polls 2005 continues the tradition of previous editions by providing incisive commentary on the 2005 general elections in the United Kingdom. John Bartle joins Anthony King and a group of eminent political experts to provide a measured analysis of the key issues and events that affected the election results.

Contributors examine the behavior and performance of each of the main political parties, look at the impact of regional political parties in the UK, assess the role of the media, and analyze how events on the international stage, such as Iraq, affected the election results. The result is an authoritative and readable guide to the intricacies and outcomes of the 2005 election.

Table of Contents

1. Tony Blair's Second Term, Thomas Quinn

Foreign Policy: From 9/11 to the Iraq War
Domestic Politics and Policy
Pulling Up the Drawbridge: Crime, Immigration, Terrorism and Europe
Discord in the Government
2. The Conservatives: The Politics of Panic, Philip Norton
Changing Leaders
The Consequences of Panic
3. A Grumpy Electorate, Nicholas Allen
Unhappy with Labour?
Unhappy with Politics?
Explaining the Electorateís Mood
Restless Behaviour: Bypassing the System
Restlessness at the Ballot Box: Stirrings in the Party System
Conclusions: The Consequences of a Grumpy Electorate
4. The Reluctant European: Europe as an Issue in British Politics, David McKay
Pre-amble: Labour, the Conservatives and Europe, 1983-1997
The Conservatives, New Labour and Europe, 1997-2001
Parties, Voters and the European Issue, 2001-2005
Europe, the 2005 General Election and After: Blair Embattled and Blair Redux
5. The Politics of Fractured Federalism, Iain McLean
How We Got Here
The Rebirth of Devolution
The Endogeneity of Votes and Electoral Systems
Policy Divergence Since Devolution
The Barnett Formula Limps On
The English Question According to Prescott and Brown
6. The Labour Government and the Media, John Bartle
How the Media Have Changed
Blair, Campbell and the Media
Pressure Points
7. Why Labour Won Ė Yet Again, Anthony King
Disenchantment with New Labour
Labour, the Electorate and the Economy
The Conservatives: A Hopeless Opposition
Campaigning, Voting and the Outcome
8. The American Left, Right and Center on Tony Blair and the Election of 2005, E.J. Dionne Jr.
The Blair Effect: U.S. Style
Blair and Clinton: The Buddy Movie
Blair and Bush: The Odd Couple
9. New Labourís Hegemony: Erosion or Extension?, Ivor Crewe
Interpreting Elections
New Labourís Electoral Dominance: Its Foundations
New Labourís Electoral Dominance: Evidence of Erosion
New Labourís Electoral Dominance: Evidence of Extension
The Labour Party: The Promise and Pitfalls of a Gordon Brown Government
Strategies for Conservative Recovery
The Liberal Democrats: Fighting on Two Fronts
"General elections are public events that deserve rigorous scrutiny--but seldom receive it. The Britain at the Polls series provides the model for how elections should be analysed. It is political science at its best: thorough but not dry; serious yet accessible; trenchant but not mendacious. The 2005 edition provides a compelling portrait of a contest in which each of the three main parties claimed to be heartened by the outcome, when in fact each was left uncertain about its future."
- Peter Kellner, YouGov

"The Bartle and King collection of essays provides a fresh insight into the 2005 general election, both what happened and, above all, the significance for the direction of British politics in the Blair and post-Blair eras, with the added twist of a view from the US."
- Peter Riddell, The Times (London)

"It is a difficult task to provide narration, insight and explanation of the 2005 British general election. Theoretically driven interpretation of political events, clear data analysis, and attention to the long-term perspective make Britain at the Polls 2005 a thoroughly rewarding read for both specialists and lay readers alike in the UK and abroad."
- Paolo Bellucci, Università di Siena, Italian National Election Study

"This collection of essays provides a thoughtful, lively, and stimulating account of the underlying reasons for the historic third successive Labour victory as well as a broader assessment of developments in British politics under the Blair government. With a first-class set of contributors, this well-written and accessible volume will be essential reading for all concerned with British elections, voting behavior, and party politics."
- Pippa Norris, Harvard University

"The British election of 2005, more so than its predecessors in 1997 and 2001, poses a number of fascinating puzzles. How did a Government led by an unpopular prime minister defending a wildly unpopular war get re-elected? Why did Tony Blair strike his extraordinarily consequential partnership with George Bush? Did the 2005 election returns signal the beginning of the end of the recent dominance of New Labour in British politics or merely a pause? Look no further than this splendid volume for solutions to these puzzles."
- Thomas E. Mann, Brookings Institution

"With fresh, discerning analyses, among others, of new media, federalism, intra-party conflict and changing attitudes about America and Europe, the whole is even greater than the sum of its parts. Together these essays explain how a disliked Prime Minister beat an outmoded opposition by taking his punishment and promising to quit."
- Samuel L. Popkin, University of California, San Diego


John Bartle is a senior lecturer in the Department of Government at the University of Essex and a member of the advisory board for the current British Election Studies. He is co-editor of three books: (with Ivor Crewe and Brian Gosschalk) Political Communications: Why Labour Won the 1997 General Election (1998), (with Dylan Griffiths) Political Communications Transformed: From Morrison to Mandelson (2001), and (with Simon Atkinson and Roger Mortimore) Political Communications: The British General Election Campaign of 2001 (2002).

Anthony King is co-author with David Butler of two Nuffield College election studies (for 1964 and 1966), author of Britain Says Yes: The 1975 Referendum on the Common Market and Running Scared: Why Americaís Politicians Campaign Too Much and Govern Too Little, co-author with Ivor Crewe on The Birth, Life and Death of the Social Democratic Party and editor of The New American Political System, New Labour Triumphs: Britain at the Polls 1997 and Britain at the Polls 2001. He was a member on the Committee on Standards in Public Life (initially the Nolan Committee, now the Neill Committee) from 1994-98 and member on the Royal Commission on the Reform of the House of Lords (the Wakeham Commission) from 1999-2000.