The Breakup or the Breakout?

  • Geoffrey Lee Williams
  • Alan Lee Williams


The original SDP has failed; this book described its birth and final demise. Beyond seeking to evaluate the unique set of circumstances which led to its brilliant rise and to its unfortunate decline, we have identified the more fundamental reasons for its failure to break the mould of British politics. These have much to do with an ideology which was not perceived as distinctive enough to set the SDP apart from the Liberals and Labour. The chief rivals for the role of the opposition party most likely to be bidding for power either with a parliamentary majority of their own or as a partner in a coalition government were lacking in a distinctive ideology, associated with one capable of mobilising mass support. But to whom should the Social Democrats appeal for support?


Coalition Government Labour Party Opposition Party Social Market Economy Popular Vote 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    Professor David Marquand, ‘Socialism lives … but only in Britain’, 2 Dec. 1988, London Evening Standard.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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