How Tory Governments Fall is a landmark study of the forces that shape – and ultimately destroy – political power. It assesses the factors that are common to the decline and fall of each Conservative administration in British history since the beginnings of the modern, party-based system.
Each government is examined by the leading specialist of the political history of the period: Norman Gash on the Wellington-Liverpool era, Martin Pugh on Salisbury; John Turner on the Macmillan years; Jeremy Black on anti-Napoleonic Torydom; John Vincent on Disraeli’s heyday; Dennis Kavanagh on the Heath regime and Ivor Crewe on the Thatcher-Major era.
Anthony Seldon, the book’s editor, contends that the party’s supreme weapons are its ability to adapt and its hunger for power, and asks whether these two attributes will be sufficient to ensure continued electoral success. The essays examine the nature of each government, the reasons for their victory at the polls; their unifying themes, the interests they represented, the quality of their leadership, the prevailing ideology and the reasons for their enfeeblement, decay and eventual defeat.
How Tory Governments Fall is a unique and controversial work of interest to anyone wishing to understand the occasions when the most successful election-winning force in British political history has been defeated.