Conclusion – Heath and Thatcher in Opposition

  • Eric Caines


The concluding Chapter 13 provides a comparative assessment of Edward Heath and Margaret Thatcher on the eve of their election victories in 1970 and 1979 respectively, in terms of their convictions, managerial styles and public images, political sensitivities and preparedness for government. Was Heath more concerned with the integrity of the product of the policy-making exercise and Thatcher more aware of the politics involved in marketing the product? The chapter highlights a striking paradox: Heath’s micro-managed preparations for government in the 1960s failed to save his eventual premiership from apparent failure, while the corrosive conflict within the Shadow Cabinet and between competing Conservative think-tanks after Thatcher’s 1975 election to the leadership failed to impede Thatcher from leading a purposeful and transformative government in the 1980s.

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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Caines
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ScholarOxfordUnited Kingdom

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