Policy Alternatives

  • David Butler
  • Dennis Kavanagh


Parties take their manifestos a great deal more seriously than the public imagines. They worry at length about the fine print of their proposals and they worry about honouring their promises or, at worst, about finding genuinely convincing excuses if they fail to do so. They recognise that their manifesto, however little it is read by the electorate, will affect their campaign and, if they win, will be one basis for judgements on their performance in government. Moreover they take great pride in their success in implementing the manifesto.


Minimum Wage Trade Union Social Contract Money Supply Steering Committee 
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  1. 1.
    For the post-1945 exercise see R. A. Butler, The Art of the Possible (London, 1971)Google Scholar
  2. and J. D. Hoffman, The Opposition, 1945–51 (London, 1964) and The British General Election of 1970 for the 1964–70 exercise.Google Scholar
  3. 2.
    For a full account of the work of the Research Department see Richard Rose, The Problem of Party Government (London, 1974) pp. 180–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 15.
    See Hugo Young’s extremely critical analysis, ‘The Very Strange Omissions of the Tory Manifesto’, Sunday Times, September 15, 1974.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© David Butler and Dennis Kavanagh 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Butler
    • 1
  • Dennis Kavanagh
    • 2
  1. 1.Nuffield CollegeOxfordUK
  2. 2.University of ManchesterUK

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