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Some lessons of the SDP for labour’s present predicament

Publication ,  Journal Article
Liddle, R
Published in: Political Quarterly
January 1, 2017

Jeremy Corbyn’s election and re-election as Labour leader, together with the emergence of a new Conservative Prime Minister committed to Brexit, has led to renewed speculation about the possibility of a new party appealing to the ‘politically homeless’ in the centre and centreleft of British politics. This article draws lessons from the SDP experience in the early 1980s. Are the structural conditions more favourable to the progressive centre-left now than they were then? Is there the sociological, electoral and ideological space for a new party? Does first past the post remain an insuperable barrier to an electoral breakthrough? From whom and in what circumstances might the leadership for a new party come? For all the depth of Labour’s current problems, a new party seems an unlikely immediate prospect. In 1981, the SDP made a major miscalculation about the irreversibility of Labour’s decline. However, the process of fragmentation in British politics seems set to continue.

Duke Scholars

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Published In

Political Quarterly

DOI

EISSN

1467-923X

ISSN

0032-3179

Publication Date

January 1, 2017

Volume

88

Issue

1

Start / End Page

76 / 86

Related Subject Headings

  • Political Science & Public Administration
  • 4408 Political science
  • 4407 Policy and administration
  • 1606 Political Science
  • 1605 Policy and Administration
 

Citation

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Liddle, R. (2017). Some lessons of the SDP for labour’s present predicament. Political Quarterly, 88(1), 76–86. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-923X.12334
Liddle, R. “Some lessons of the SDP for labour’s present predicament.” Political Quarterly 88, no. 1 (January 1, 2017): 76–86. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-923X.12334.
Liddle R. Some lessons of the SDP for labour’s present predicament. Political Quarterly. 2017 Jan 1;88(1):76–86.
Liddle, R. “Some lessons of the SDP for labour’s present predicament.” Political Quarterly, vol. 88, no. 1, Jan. 2017, pp. 76–86. Scopus, doi:10.1111/1467-923X.12334.
Liddle R. Some lessons of the SDP for labour’s present predicament. Political Quarterly. 2017 Jan 1;88(1):76–86.
Journal cover image

Published In

Political Quarterly

DOI

EISSN

1467-923X

ISSN

0032-3179

Publication Date

January 1, 2017

Volume

88

Issue

1

Start / End Page

76 / 86

Related Subject Headings

  • Political Science & Public Administration
  • 4408 Political science
  • 4407 Policy and administration
  • 1606 Political Science
  • 1605 Policy and Administration