First published in 1983. This study draws upon empirical findings on party activists, members and voters. It examines the origins and nature of Labour’s crisis in the 1980s, showing how the split leading to the formation of the SDP was merely a manifestation of deeply rooted problems which went back many years. It argues that this crisis had three distinct but interrelated aspects: first, the ideological schism within the party, which had grown in intensity over time; second, the electoral crisis, which produced the worst electoral performance at the 1983 general election since 1918; and, third, the membership crisis arising from the fact that the party had been losing more than 11,000 individual members per year on average since 1945. Using elite and mass surveys the book demonstrates the link between these crises and Labour’s policy performance in office set against a background of rapid economic decline.
List of Figures; List of Tables; Acknowledgements; 1. The Labour Party in Crisis – An Overview; Part One: The Political Sociology of the Crisis; 2. The Ideological Crisis 3. The Membership Crisis 4. The Electoral Crisis; Part Two: The Political Economy of the Crisis; 5. Labour’s Policy Goals 6. The Labour Party and Economic Policy 7. Labour’s Social Policy – The Case of Poverty 8. The Future of the Labour Party 9. Postscript: The 1983 General Election; Appendices; Bibliography; Index
This set of 44 volumes, originally published between 1924 and 1995, amalgamates a wide breadth of research on the Labour Movement, including labour union history, the early stages and development of the Labour Party, and studies on the working classes. This collection of books from some of the leading scholars in the field provides a comprehensive overview of the subject, how it has evolved over time, and will be of particular interest to students of political history.