The Barren Years: 1997–2005

  • Anthony Seldon
  • Peter Snowdon


The Conservative Party throughout its history has resented defeat in general elections. Since the late nineteenth century, the Party has seen itself as the ‘natural’ party of government, with periods of opposition the exception, and office the norm. With a broad appeal to all sections and parts of the country, its character has chimed with the heartbeat of the nation. Its longest period in the wilderness was between 1846 and 1866, but even during this, there were brief tenures of power in 1852 and 1858–59. Apart from this, periods out of office between 1783 and 1997 only twice exceeded nine years, in 1830–41 and 1905–15; the remaining opposition periods were often much shorter.


Opinion Poll Leadership Election Single Currency Popular Vote Conservative Party 
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Copyright information

© Anthony Seldon and Peter Snowdon 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony Seldon
  • Peter Snowdon

There are no affiliations available

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