Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom. The governing party since 2010, it is the largest in the House of Commons, with 313 Members of Parliament, has 249 members of the House of Lords, 18 members of the European Parliament, 31 Members of the Scottish Parliament, 12 members of the Welsh Assembly, eight members of the London Assembly and 8,916 local councillors; the Conservative Party was founded in 1834 from the Tory Party—the Conservatives' colloquial name is "Tories"—and was one of two dominant political parties in the nineteenth century, along with the Liberal Party. Under Benjamin Disraeli it played a preeminent role in politics at the height of the British Empire. In 1912, the Liberal Unionist Party merged with the party to form the Conservative and Unionist Party. In the 1920s, the Labour Party surpassed the Liberals as the Conservatives' main rivals. Conservative Prime Ministers — notably Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher — led governments for 57 years of the twentieth century.
Positioned on the centre-right of British politics, the Conservative Party is ideologically conservative. Different factions have dominated the party at different times, including One Nation Conservatives and liberal conservatives, while its views and policies have changed throughout its history; the party has adopted liberal economic policies—favouring free market economics, limiting state regulation, pursuing privatisation—although in the past has supported protectionism. The party is British unionist, opposing both Irish reunification and Welsh and Scottish independence, supported the maintenance of the British Empire; the party includes those with differing views on the European Union, with Eurosceptic and pro-European wings. In foreign policy, it is for a strong national defence; the Conservatives are a member of the International Democrat Union and the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe and sit with the European Conservatives and Reformists parliamentary group. The Scottish, Northern Irish and Gibraltan branches of the party are semi-autonomous.
Its support base consists of middle-class voters in rural areas of England, its domination of British politics throughout the twentieth century has led to it being referred to as one of the most successful political parties in the Western world. The Conservative Party was founded in the 1830s. However, some writers trace its origins to the reign of Charles II in the 1670s Exclusion Crisis. Other historians point to a faction, rooted in the 18th century Whig Party, that coalesced around William Pitt the Younger in the 1780s, they were known as "Independent Whigs", "Friends of Mr Pitt", or "Pittites" and never used terms such as "Tory" or "Conservative". Pitt died in 1806. From about 1812 on the name "Tory" was used for a new party that, according to historian Robert Blake, "are the ancestors of Conservatism". Blake adds that Pitt's successors after 1812 "were not in any sense standard-bearer's of true Toryism"; the term "Conservative" was suggested as a title for the party by a magazine article by J. Wilson Croker in the Quarterly Review in 1830.
The name caught on and was adopted under the aegis of Sir Robert Peel around 1834. Peel is acknowledged as the founder of the Conservative Party, which he created with the announcement of the Tamworth Manifesto; the term "Conservative Party" rather than Tory was the dominant usage by 1845. The widening of the electoral franchise in the nineteenth century forced the Conservative Party to popularise its approach under Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby and Benjamin Disraeli, who carried through their own expansion of the franchise with the Reform Act of 1867. In 1886, the party formed an alliance with Spencer Compton Cavendish, Lord Hartington and Joseph Chamberlain's new Liberal Unionist Party and, under the statesmen Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Lord Salisbury and Arthur Balfour, held power for all but three of the following twenty years before suffering a heavy defeat in 1906 when it split over the issue of free trade. Young Winston Churchill denounced Chamberlain's attack on free trade, helped organize the opposition inside the Unionist/Conservative Party.
Balfour, as party leader, followed Chamberlain's policy introduced protectionist legislation. The high tariff element called itself "Tariff Reformers" and in a major speech in Manchester on May 13, 1904, Churchill warned their takeover of the Unionist/Conservative party would permanently brand it as: A party of great vested interests, banded together in a formidable confederation. Two weeks Churchill crossed the floor and formally joined the Liberal Party. )He rejoined the Conservatives in 1925.) In December, Balfour lost control of his party, as the defections multiplied. He was replaced by Liberal Prime Minister Henry Campbell-Bannerman who called an election in January 1906, which produced a massive Liberal victory with a gain of 214 seats. Liberal Prime Minister H. H. Asquith enacted a great deal of reform legislation, but the Unionists worked hard at grassroots organizing. Two general elections were held in one in January and one in December; the two main parties were now dead equal in seats.
The Unionists had more popular votes but the Liberals kept control with a coalition with the Irish Parliamentary Party. In 1912, the Liberal Unionis
Scottish National Party
The Scottish National Party is a Scottish nationalist and social-democratic political party in Scotland. The SNP campaigns for Scottish independence, it is the second-largest political party by membership in the United Kingdom, behind the Labour Party and ahead of the Conservative Party. The current Scottish National Party leader, Nicola Sturgeon, has served as First Minister of Scotland since November 2014. Founded in 1934 with the amalgamation of the National Party of Scotland and the Scottish Party, the party has had continuous parliamentary representation in Westminster since Winnie Ewing won the 1967 Hamilton by-election. With the establishment of the devolved Scottish Parliament in 1999, the SNP became the second-largest party, serving two terms as the opposition; the SNP gained power at the 2007 Scottish Parliament election, forming a minority government, before going on to win the 2011 Parliament election, after which it formed Holyrood's first majority government. It was reduced back to a minority government at the 2016 election.
The SNP is the largest political party in Scotland in terms of both seats in the Westminster and Holyrood parliaments, membership, reaching 125,482 members as of August 2018, 35 MPs and over 400 local councillors. The SNP currently has 2 MEPs in the European Parliament, who sit in The Greens/European Free Alliance group; the SNP is a member of the European Free Alliance. The party does not have any members of the House of Lords, as it has always maintained a position of objecting to an unelected upper house; the SNP was formed in 1934 through the merger of the National Party of Scotland and the Scottish Party, with Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham as its first president. Professor Douglas Young, the leader of the Scottish National Party from 1942 to 1945 campaigned for the Scottish people to refuse conscription and his activities were popularly vilified as undermining the British war effort against the Axis powers. Young was imprisoned for refusing to be conscripted; the SNP first won a parliamentary seat at the Motherwell by-election in 1945, but Robert McIntyre MP lost the seat at the general election three months later.
They next won a seat in 1967, when Winnie Ewing was the surprise winner of a by-election in the safe Labour seat of Hamilton. This brought the SNP to national prominence, leading to the establishment of the Kilbrandon Commission; the SNP hit a high point in the October 1974 general election, polling a third of all votes in Scotland and returning 11 MPs to Westminster. This success was not surpassed until the 2015 general election. However, the party experienced a large drop in its support at the 1979 General election, followed by a further drop at the 1983 election. In the 2007 Scottish Parliamentary general election, the SNP emerged as the largest party with 47 seats, narrowly ousting the Scottish Labour Party with 46 seats and Alex Salmond became Scottish First Minister; the Scottish Green Party supported Salmond's election as First Minister, his subsequent appointments of ministers, in return for early tabling of the climate change bill and the SNP nominating a Green MSP to chair a parliamentary committee.
In May 2011, the SNP won an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament with 69 seats. This was a significant feat as the additional member system used for Scottish Parliament elections was designed to prevent one party from winning an outright majority. Based on their 2011 majority, the SNP government held a referendum on Scottish independence in 2014; the "No" vote prevailed in a close-fought campaign, prompting the resignation of First Minister Alex Salmond. Forty-five percent of Scottish voters cast their ballots for independence, with the "Yes" side receiving less support than late polling predicted; the SNP rebounded from the loss in the independence referendum at the UK general election in May 2015, led by Salmond's successor as first minister, Nicola Sturgeon. The party went from holding six seats in the House of Commons to 56 at the expense of the Labour Party. All but three of the fifty-nine constituencies in the country elected an SNP candidate. BBC News described the historic result as a "Scots landslide".
At the 2016 Scottish Parliament election, the SNP lost a net total of 6 seats, losing its overall majority in the Scottish Parliament, but returning for a third consecutive term as a minority government. The party gained an additional 1.1% of the constituency vote from the 2011 election, losing 2.3% of the regional list vote. On the constituency vote, the SNP gained 11 seats from Labour, but lost the Edinburgh Southern constituency to the party; the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats each gained two constituency seats from the SNP on 2011. At the United Kingdom general election, 2017 the SNP underperformed compared to polling expectations, losing 21 seats to bring their number of Westminster MPs down to 35; this was attributed by many, including former Deputy First Minister John Swinney, to their stance on holding a second Scottish independence referendum and saw a swing to the Unionist parties, with seats being picked up by the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats and a reduction in their majorities in the other seats.
Stephen Gethins, MP for North East Fife, came o
Aberdeen South (UK Parliament constituency)
Aberdeen South is a burgh constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and it elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election. The current MP is Ross Thomson of the Conservative Party; the constituency was first used in the 1885 general election, but has undergone boundary changes since then. There was an Aberdeen South Holyrood constituency, a constituency of the Scottish Parliament, created in 1999 with the boundaries of the Westminster constituency at that time. In 2011 the Scottish Parliament constituency of Aberdeen South was abolished and replaced with the Aberdeen South and North Kincardine constituency; as redefined by the Fifth Review of the Boundary Commission for Scotland, subsequently first used in the 2005 general election, Aberdeen South is within the Aberdeen City council area and one of five constituencies covering that council area and the Aberdeenshire council area. To the south and west of Aberdeen South there is West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, within the Aberdeenshire area.
To the north there is Aberdeen North which, like Aberdeen South is within the Aberdeen City area. Further north there is Gordon, which covers part of the Aberdeen City area and part of the Aberdeenshire area. To the north of Gordon there is Banff and Buchan which, like West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, is within the Aberdeenshire area. From 1832 to 1885 there was a single Aberdeen constituency. Prior to 1832, the burgh of Aberdeen had been represented as a component of the Aberdeen Burghs constituency; when Aberdeen South was created by the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 and first used in the 1885 general election, so was Aberdeen North. Aberdeen South consisted of the municipal wards of St Nicholas, Rosemount and Ferryhill, the 9th Parliamentary Polling District; the rest of the county of Aberdeen was covered by the county constituencies of Eastern Aberdeenshire and Western Aberdeenshire. The same boundaries were used in the 1886 general election, the 1892 general election, the 1895 general election, the 1900 general election, the 1906 general election, the January 1910 general election and the December 1910 general election.
In 1918 constituency boundaries were redefined by the Representation of the People Act 1918. By the City of Aberdeen had been created; the new boundaries were first used in the 1918 general election, Aberdeen South consisted of the wards of Ferryhill, Rubislaw, Ruthrieston and St Nicholas. The county of Aberdeen was covered by Aberdeen and Kincardine East, Central Aberdeenshire and Kincardine and West Aberdeenshire. East Aberdeenshire and West Aberdeenshire were within the county of Aberdeen. Kincardine and West Aberdeenshire covered the county of Kincardine and part of the county of Aberdeen; the same boundaries were used in the 1923, 1924, 1929, 1931, 1935 and 1945 general elections. For the 1950 general election boundaries were redefined again, by the House of Commons Act 1949. A new list of wards defined Aberdeen South – Ferryhill, Rosemount, Rubislaw and Torry – but the City of Aberdeen remained a two-constituency city, divided between Aberdeen South and Aberdeen North, with both constituencies within the city.
The county of Aberdeen was now again divided between East Aberdeenshire and West Aberdeenshire, with both of these constituencies within the county. The same boundaries were used for the 1951 general election. By the time of the 1955 general election, a boundary review had taken account of a small enlargement of the city area. However, the same list of wards – Ferryhill, Rosemount, Rubislaw and Torry – continued to define Aberdeen South, the same boundaries were used for the 1959 general election, the 1964 general election, the 1966 general election, the 1970 general election, the February 1974 general election and the October 1974 general election. In 1975, throughout Scotland, under the Local Government Act 1973, counties were abolished, the City of Aberdeen was enlarged to include areas within the county of Aberdeen and the county of Kincardine; the city became a district within the Grampian region. The enlarged city included areas covered by the constituencies of West Aberdeenshire and North Angus and Mearns.
North Angus and Mearns had been created in 1950 to cover the county of Kincardine and part of the county of Angus. The 1979 general election was held before a review of constituency boundaries took account of new local government boundaries. For the 1983 election, the electoral wards used to create this seat were Rosemount, Rubislaw, St Clements, St Nicholas, Holburn, Torry, Nigg; the 1983 general election, the 1987 general election and the 1992 general election took place during this period. At the 1992 General Election the constituency was the only seat which Labour had won at the 1987 election to be gained by the Conservatives. In 1996, under the Local Government etc Act 1994, local government regions and districts were abolished and the city became one of 32 unitary council areas of Scotland; the name of the city became Aberdeen City. As redefined for the 1997 general election Aberdeen South was one of three constituencies covering and within the Aberdeen City area, the other two being Aberdeen North and Aberdeen Central.
Aberdeen South shared boundaries with both of the other two constituencies. The same boundaries were used for the 2001 general election
Voter turnout is the percentage of eligible voters who cast a ballot in an election. Eligibility varies by country, the voting-eligible population should not be confused with the total adult population. Age and citizenship status are among the criteria used to determine eligibility, but some countries further restrict eligibility based on sex, race, or religion. After increasing for many decades, there has been a trend of decreasing voter turnout in most established democracies since the 1980s. In general, low turnout is attributed to indifference, or a sense of futility. According to Stanford University political scientists Adam Bonica and Michael McFaul, there is a consensus among political scientists that "democracies perform better when more people vote."Low turnout is considered to be undesirable. As a result, there have been many efforts to increase voter turnout and encourage participation in the political process. In spite of significant study into the issue, scholars are divided on the reasons for the decline.
Its cause has been attributed to a wide array of economic, cultural and institutional factors. Different countries have different voter turnout rates. For example, turnout in the United States 2012 presidential election was about 55%. In both Belgium, which has obligatory attendance, Malta, which does not, participation reaches about 95%. In Belgium there is obligatory attendance, misinterpreted as compulsory voting The chance of any one vote determining the outcome is low; some studies show that a single vote in a voting scheme such as the Electoral College in the United States has an lower chance of determining the outcome. Other studies claim that the Electoral College increases voting power. Studies using game theory, which takes into account the ability of voters to interact, have found that the expected turnout for any large election should be zero; the basic formula for determining whether someone will vote, on the questionable assumption that people act rationally, is P B + D > C, where P is the probability that an individual's vote will affect the outcome of an election, B is the perceived benefit that would be received if that person's favored political party or candidate were elected, D stood for democracy or civic duty, but today represents any social or personal gratification an individual gets from voting, C is the time and financial cost involved in voting.
Since P is zero in most elections, PB is near zero, D is thus the most important element in motivating people to vote. For a person to vote, these factors must outweigh C. Experimental political science has found that when P is greater than zero, this term has no effect on voter turnout. Enos and Fowler conducted a field experiment that exploits the rare opportunity of a tied election for major political office. Informing citizens that the special election to break the tie will be close has little mobilizing effect on voter turnout. Riker and Ordeshook developed the modern understanding of D, they listed five major forms of gratification that people receive for voting: complying with the social obligation to vote. Other political scientists have since added other motivators and questioned some of Riker and Ordeshook's assumptions. All of these concepts are inherently imprecise, making it difficult to discover why people choose to vote. Several scholars have considered the possibility that B includes not only a personal interest in the outcome, but a concern for the welfare of others in the society.
In particular, experiments in which subject altruism was measured using a dictator game showed that concern for the well-being of others is a major factor in predicting turnout and political participation. Note that this motivation is distinct from D, because voters must think others benefit from the outcome of the election, not their act of voting in and of itself. There are philosophical and practical reasons that some people cite for not voting in electoral politics. Robert LeFevre, Francis Tandy, John Pugsley, Frank Chodorov, George H. Smith, Carl Watner, Wendy McElroy, Lysander Spooner are some moderately well-known authors who have written about these reasons. High voter turnout is considered to be desirable, though among political scientists and economists specializing in public choice, the issue is still debated. A high turnout is seen as evidence of the legitimacy of the current system. Dictators have fabricated high turnouts in showcase elections for this purpose. For instance, Saddam Hussein's 2002 plebiscite was claimed to have had 100% participation.
Opposition parties sometimes boycott votes they feel are unfair or illegitimate, or if the election is for a government, considered illegitimate. For example, the Holy See instructed Italian Catholics to boycott national elections for several decades after the creation of the state of Italy. In some countries, there are threats of violence against those who vote, such as during the 2005 Iraq elections, an example of voter suppression. However, some political scientists question the view that high turnout is an implicit endorsement of the system. Mark
River Dee, Aberdeenshire
The River Dee is a river in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It rises in the Cairngorms and flows through southern Aberdeenshire to reach the North Sea at Aberdeen; the area it passes through is known as Deeside, or Royal Deeside in the region between Braemar and Banchory because Queen Victoria came to love the place and built Balmoral Castle there. Deeside is a popular area for tourists, due to the combination of scenic beauty and historic and royal associations; the scenic beauty of Deeside is recognised by its inclusion in the Cairngorms National Park and the Deeside and Lochnagar National Scenic Area. The Dee is popular with anglers, is one of the most famous salmon fishing rivers in the world; the New Statistical Account of Scotland attributed the name Dee as having been used as early as the second century AD in the work of the Alexandrian geographer Claudius Ptolemy, as Δηοῦα, meaning'Goddess', indicating a divine status for the river in the beliefs of the ancient inhabitants of the area. There are several other rivers of the same name in Great Britain, these are believed to have similar derivations, as may the Dee's near neighbour to the north, the River Don.
The River Dee rises from a spring on the Braeriach plateau in the Cairngorm Mountains at a height of at about 1,220 m, the highest source of any major river in the British Isles. Emerging in a number of pools called the Wells of Dee the young Dee flows across the plateau to the cliff edge from where the Falls of Dee plunge into An Garbh Choire; the river is joined by a tributary coming from the Pools of Dee in the Lairig Ghru, flows south down the Lairig Ghru between Ben Macdui and Cairn Toul, tumbling over falls in the Chest of Dee on its way to White Bridge and the confluence with the Geldie Burn, at which point it turns east. At Linn of Dee the river passes east through a 300 metre natural rock gorge, a spot much favoured by Queen Victoria during her stays at Balmoral; the queen opened the bridge that spans the Dee at this point in 1857. Between Linn of Dee and Braemar the Lui Water and the Quoich Water join the growing River Dee; the River Clunie enters the Dee at Braemar. Through Deeside the river passes Braemar, Balmoral Castle, Dinnet and Banchory to reach the sea at Aberdeen.
Near Ballater two rivers are tributaries: the River Gairn flowing from the north and the River Muick, flowing out of Loch Muick, from the south. The river remains within the Cairngorms National Park. Water of Tanar flows through Glen Tanar before joining at Aboyne; the Falls of Feugh has its confluence with the Dee at Banchory and Coy Burn enters at Milton of Crathes. The tidal limit is just above Bridge of Dee, built about 1720, which carries the main A90 trunk road from Aberdeen to the south. Before reaching the North Sea, the river passes through Aberdeen Harbour, the principal marine centre for the energy industry in Europe, servicing the offshore oil and gas industry. An artificial channel was constructed in 1872 to straighten the river's flow into the sea. Footdee is an old fishing village at the east end of Aberdeen Harbour; the Dee is important for nature conservation and the area has many designated sites. The upper catchment down to Inverey is within the Mar Lodge Estate, owned by the National Trust for Scotland and has been classified as a National Nature Reserve since May 2017.
The Cairngorms National Park, established in 2003 covers the whole of the catchment of the Dee, including tributaries, down to as far as Dinnet. As well being included as part of the Cairngorms National Park the Deeside area, along with the mountains surrounding Lochnagar as far south as the head of Glen Doll, are together classified as the Deeside and Lochnagar National Scenic Area, one of 40 such areas in Scotland; the designated national scenic area covers 39,787 ha, extending from the Geldie down to Ballater. The entire length of the Dee is defined as a Special Area of Conservation due to its importance for salmon and Freshwater pearl mussels. Other SACs within the Deeside area include Glen Tanar, the Muir of Dinnet and the Morrone Birkwood; the southern side of Deeside is classified as a Special Protection Area, due to the area's importance for golden eagles. Much of the semi-natural Caledonian pine forest in Scotland is within the Dee catchment; the area contains nationally rare examples of pine woods, birch woods and heather moors with associated wildlife.
On the valley floor there are deciduous alder and mixed broadleaved woods, meadow grasslands. The Dee is a popular salmon river, intersected by sharp rapids. In 1995 it was estimated that salmon fishing on the river contributed between £5 and £6 million a year to the Grampian Region economy; the A93 road runs west along the north bank of the river from Aberdeen to Braemar before it turns south, leaving Deeside, to climb to the Glenshee Ski Centre at Cairnwell Pass and onwards to Perth. Just west of Ballater the A939 Lecht Road leaves the A93 to take a tortuous climb towards the Lecht Ski Centre on to Tomintoul and Nairn. Beyond Braemar a narrow road continues along the south side of the Dee as far as Linn of Dee, at which point it doubles back to terminate at Linn of Quioch on the north bank of the Dee. There are no paved roads into the Cairngorms beyond Linn of Dee, although two walking routes, the Lairig Ghru and the Lairig an Laoigh, continue via passes in the mountains to reach Speyside.
Until 1966 the Deeside Railway ran from Aberdeen to Ballater, operated by the Great North of Scotland Railway. The line opened from Aberdeen to Banchory in 1853, was extended to Aboyne in 1859, with a further extension to Ballater opening in 1866; the lin
River Don, Aberdeenshire
The River Don is a river in north-east Scotland. It rises in the Grampians and flows eastwards, through Aberdeenshire, to the North Sea at Aberdeen; the Don passes through Alford, Inverurie and Dyce. Its main tributary, the River Ury, joins at Inverurie; the Don rises in the peat flat beneath Druim na Feithe, in the shadow of Glen Avon, before flowing past the ice-age moraine and down to Cock Bridge, below the picturesque site of the demolished Delnadamph Lodge. Several streams, the Dhiver, Feith Bhait, Meoir Veannaich, Cock Burn and the Allt nan Aighean merge to form the embryonic Don. Water from the north of Brown Cow Hill drains into the Don, while water from the west side runs into the River Spey and that from the south side into the Dee; the Don follows a circuitous route eastwards past Corgarff Castle, through Strathdon and the Howe of Alford before entering the North Sea just north of Old Aberdeen. The chief tributaries are Conrie Water, Ernan Water, Water of Carvie, Water of Nochty, Deskry Water, Water of Buchat, Kindy Burn, Bucks Burn, Mossat Burn, Leochel Burn and the River Ury.
The river was recorded by the 2nd century AD cosmographer Ptolemy of Alexandria as Δηουανα Devona, meaning'goddess', an indication the river was once a sacred one. Near Kintore, not distant from the Don, is the Deers Den Roman Camp. In 1750 the Don's lower reaches were channelled towards the sea, moving its confluence with the sea northwards. River levels and flows have been measured along the course of the Don at a number of gauging stations since 1969; the lowest of these is the gauge at Parkhill near Dyce, with a mean flow of 20.64 cubic metres per second. The station measures 97% of the total 1,312 square kilometres catchment of the river. Prior to 2016 the maximum levels and flows were recorded during the floods of November 2002, with peak levels on the 22nd of that month reaching 5.07 metres at Haughton near Inverurie, 4.17 metres at Parkhill. These were exceeded in January 2016 during the 2015–16 floods, when levels at Haughton reached 5.6 metres, whilst those at Parkhill were over a metre higher than at 5.5 metres.
The resultant flooding forced residents along the river to evacuate their homes, in some cases with the help of local rescue teams. Areas affected included Port Elphinstone and Donside in Aberdeen where a number of residential care homes were evacuated as a precaution. Strathdon attracts visitors for salmon and trout fishing as well as scenery. Brig o' Balgownie Glenbuchat Castle List of rivers of Scotland Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland List of navigation authorities in the United Kingdom List of waterway societies in the United Kingdom Fishing the Fly Fish-Wild! The River Don Trust
2001 United Kingdom general election
The 2001 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 7 June 2001, four years after the previous election on 1 May 1997, to elect 659 members to the British House of Commons. Under the leadership of Tony Blair, the governing Labour Party was re-elected to serve a second term in government with another landslide victory, returning 413 of the 418 seats won by the party in the previous general election, a net loss of 5 seats, though with lower turnout than before—59.4%, compared to 71.3% in the previous election. Tony Blair went on to become the first Labour Prime Minister to serve a consecutive full term in office, it was dubbed "the quiet landslide" by the media. There was little change outside Northern Ireland, with 620 out of the 641 seats electing candidates from the same party as they did in 1997. Factors contributing to the Labour victory were a strong economy and falling unemployment, as well as that Labour was seen as having delivered on many key election pledges that it had made in 1997.
The Conservative Party, under William Hague's leadership, was still divided on the issue of Europe and the party's policy platform was considered to have shifted to a right wing focus. Hague was hindered by a series of embarrassing publicity stunts, resigned as party leader three months becoming the first leader of the Conservative or Unionist party in the House of Commons since Austen Chamberlain to not be Prime Minister; the election was a repeat of the 1997 election, with Labour losing only 6 seats overall and the Conservatives making a net gain of one seat. The Conservatives did manage to gain a seat in Scotland, which ended the party's status as an'England-only' party in the prior parliament, but once again were left unrepresented in Wales. Although they did not gain many seats, one of the new MPs elected was future Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron; the Liberal Democrats gained six seats. The 2001 election is the last to date in which any government has held an overall majority of more than 100 seats in the House of Commons, one of only two since the Second World War in which one party won over 400 MPs.
It was the last election at which Labour secured over 40% of the popular vote until the snap election in 2017. Change was seen in Northern Ireland, with the moderately unionist Ulster Unionist Party losing four seats to the more hardline Democratic Unionist Party; this transition was mirrored in the nationalist community with the moderate SDLP losing votes to the more staunchly republican and abstentionist Sinn Féin. The election was marked by exceptionally low voter turnout, falling below 60% for the first time since 1918; the election was broadcast live on the BBC, presented by Jeremy Paxman, Andrew Marr, Peter Snow and David Dimbleby. The 2001 General Election was the first in which pictures of the party logos appeared on the ballot paper. Previous to this, the ballot paper had only contained the candidate's name and party name; the election had been expected on 3 May, to coincide with local elections, but both were postponed because of rural movement restrictions imposed in response to the foot and mouth outbreak.
The elections were marked by voter apathy, with turnout falling to 59.4%, the lowest since the Coupon Election of 1918. Throughout the election the Labour Party had maintained a significant lead in the opinion polls and the result was deemed to be so certain that some bookmakers paid out for a Labour majority before the election day. However, the opinion polls the previous autumn had shown the first Tory lead in the opinion polls for eight years as they benefited from the public anger towards the government over the fuel protests which had led to a severe shortage of motor fuel. By the end of 2000, the dispute had been solved and Labour were back in the lead of the opinion polls. In total, a mere 29 parliamentary seats changed hands at the 2001 Election. One of the more noted events of a quiet campaign was when countryside protester Craig Evans threw an egg at Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott in Rhyl. 2001 saw the rare election of an independent. Dr. Richard Taylor of Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern unseated a government minister.
There was a high vote for British National Party leader Nick Griffin in Oldham, in the wake of recent race riots in the town. In Northern Ireland, the election was far more dramatic and marked a move by unionists away from support for the Good Friday Agreement, with the moderate unionist Ulster Unionist Party losing to the more hardline Democratic Unionist Party; this polarisation was seen in the nationalist community, with the Social Democratic and Labour Party vote losing out to more left-wing and republican Sinn Féin. It saw a tightening of the parties as the small UK Unionist Party lost its only seat. For Labour, the last four years had run smoothly; the party had defended all their by election seats, many suspected a Labour win was inevitable from the start. Many in the party however were afraid of voter apathy, epitomised in the "Hague with Lady Thatcher's hair" poster. Despite recessions in mainland Europe and the United States, due to the bursting of global tech bubbles, Britain was notably unaffected and Labour however could rely on a strong economy as unemployment continued to decline toward election day, putting to rest any fears of a Labour government putting the economic situation at risk.
For William Hague, the Conservative Party had still not recovered from the loss in 199