From Alliance to Misalliance?

  • Geoffrey Lee Williams
  • Alan Lee Williams


As the late T. E. Uttley wrote in The Time. on 26 January 1988 in a piece entitled ‘This Unattractive Alliance’ with reference to the then on-off Liberal-SDP negotiations for a merger:

It is the Alliance which stands out as representing the highest degree of cultural homogeneity in British politics. Nor is the homogeneity purely cultural; the Alliance, in respect of its leading figures, is a predominantly professional middle-class party.

In the absence of the ‘unifying single issue’ which will make an impact on a large and widely distributed enough section of the electorate, what can these poor people now do? Well, like Asquith, they can ‘wait and see’.

It is still possible that with some conjunction of events — something which put the Thatcher ascendancy in danger or a degree of listening on the part of Mr Kinnock which destroyed the Labour Party — they might find themselves in a position to extort from a minority government a radical measure of electoral reform. That, most assuredly, would change the face of British politics.1


Democratic Party Liberal Democratic Party Labour Party Liberal Party Opposition Party 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    T. E. Uttley, ‘This Unattractive Alliance’, The Times. 26 January 1988.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    David Sainsbury and Leslie Murphy, ‘This Murder of Ideals by Merger’, The Times. 9 July 1987.Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    Peter Jenkins, ‘From One-Man Band to Megalomania’, The Independent. 31 August 1987.Google Scholar
  4. 19.
    The Times. SLD election sketch, ‘Squinting at the Distant Horizon’, by Craig Brown. 29 July 1988.Google Scholar
  5. 20.
    The Sunday Times. ‘Razzmatazz Falls Flat on the Centre Ground’, Michael Jones, 31 July 1988.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Geoffrey Lee Williams and Alan Lee Williams 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey Lee Williams
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alan Lee Williams
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.University of SurreyUK
  2. 2.The Institute of Economic and Political Studies (INSTEP)CambridgeUK
  3. 3.Toynbee HallUK
  4. 4.Parliament for HornchurchUK

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