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How to get a 1987 Kinnock Labour victory?

Time Enough

"Enthusiastic Cis Male Partner"
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So I've seen a few threads here and there about a 1992 Kinnock victory, but I'm wondering how could you get in 1987 a Labour Party under Neil Kinnock to victory?

It would likely have to involve Thatcher or the Conservatives buggering up in some way or Labour doing something policy wise that causes people to swing towards Labour.

Also what would the outcome of this Labour Government be, either with a minority or a small majority?

I don't see them getting rid of nuclear weapons but I could see certain services like the railway still being under National control and probably more money for the NHS.
 

David Flin

A house of larks and owls
So I've seen a few threads here and there about a 1992 Kinnock victory, but I'm wondering how could you get in 1987 a Labour Party under Neil Kinnock to victory?

It would likely have to involve Thatcher or the Conservatives buggering up in some way or Labour doing something policy wise that causes people to swing towards Labour.
Jeez. Getting a 1987 Labour victory, presumably from a POD post-dating Kinnock becoming leader, and thus post-dating 1983.

Good luck with that.

You can't really talk about the Labour Party, for a start. The infighting between left and right was intense, you had the Militant issue in full swing, you had a number of the constituency parties being difficult. The miners' strike has been fought and lost, and the bulk of the public were glad that the Union Power of the 1970s had been brought down to size. You had large sections of the Labour Party cheerleading those who were busy murdering British citizens, describing the deaths of British citizens as a victory for the people.

Kinnock is inevitably going to spend the period up until 1990 at the earliest getting the Labour Party into a state where it isn't a joke organisation, which is inevitably going to involve civil war within the party.

There's nothing the Labour Party can propose policy wise that would cause many people to swing behind them. No-one is going to believe it can deliver. Anything people believed it could deliver would either be insignificant, or something that people would by and large hate.

Thatcher and the Conservatives could bugger up, and indeed, they did. Things like the Poll Tax were a major bugger up, resulted in riots, widespread protests, massive unpopularity, and this stretched across the whole country and into pretty much every household, and the result was - still a Conservative majority, albeit after a palace coup replacing Thatcher with Major. A bugger up on the necessary scale would result in Thatcher being replaced with someone else, and a reset situation.

Also what would the outcome of this Labour Government be, either with a minority or a small majority?

I don't see them getting rid of nuclear weapons but I could see certain services like the railway still being under National control and probably more money for the NHS.
We'll wave a magic wand and say that it happens. Personally, I can't see anything short of a magic wand achieving this, but we'll wave it. The question one has to answer before being able to predict trajectory is "which Labour Party". It's just not possible to answer what it will do without knowing how it got there. My initial feeling is that any Labour Government would achieve nothing, either because of internal fighting (peak Militant power was around 1986), or because what is proposed would result in the Poll Tax riots seeming tame.
 

Alex Richards

Did Macavity the Mystery Cat commit Warcrimes?
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The only thing I can think of is that somehow, the Tories lose the Miners Strike, maybe in terms of moraiity rather than actually losing it.

It, however, still has the problem of the Alliance.
Something like going full Tonypandy on South Yorkshire, Scargill arrested as a terrorist (maybe some sort of sting operation about Soviet funding that, genuine or not, looks too much like a set up?). Probably prevents the Notts coalfields from breaking with Labour electorally, but yeah the Alliance probably make more gains than Labour.
 

iainbhx

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Something like going full Tonypandy on South Yorkshire, Scargill arrested as a terrorist (maybe some sort of sting operation about Soviet funding that, genuine or not, looks too much like a set up?). Probably prevents the Notts coalfields from breaking with Labour electorally, but yeah the Alliance probably make more gains than Labour.
Orgreave goes very, very bad with say a dozen deaths?
 

Alex Richards

Did Macavity the Mystery Cat commit Warcrimes?
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Orgreave goes very, very bad with say a dozen deaths?
Something like that, then they 'get' Scargill either honestly or otherwise, then perhaps something like an earlier Hillsborough disaster kicks off (Lord knows there were enough close calls and near misses at this time) and the police get off without any form of censure and it all starts looking rather grim for the Conservatives as a competent governing party.

Kinnock sweeps the industrial north but the London suburbs go yellow and the Tories are hanging on in the deep shires?
 

Elektronaut

Safe with these lesbians patrolling the skies
Labour isn't going to win 1987. As it was, Kinnock won the campaign - 'Norman, we're going to lose this fucking election' - and still didn't come close to winning the election.

It was always going to be a 'getting Labour off the floor' election. That and finally putting the Alliance in its box.

I think if you throw a six sixes for them, it's much easier to see a Labour victory in 1983 than 1987.
 

Charles EP M.

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This definitely needs a major, major screwup by the Tories, one with dead people, and the Alliance to take departing Tory voters & form a coalition with Labour. This is still a very, very "hail mary" approach and the Tories likely come back next election. But it'd make for an interesting story!
 

Time Enough

"Enthusiastic Cis Male Partner"
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So essentially at best a messy Labour minority proped up by a dying Alliance and a cabinet constantly fighting it's backbenchers would be the case of a 1987 Labour Victory it seems. If Labour had a better chance it was 92 (but that comes with the hurtling comet of ERM and Black Wednesday).

Still be an interesting idea for a story.
 

Nomad

Well-known member
Thatcher resigning over Westland or just going early for some other reason might help if it results in a civil war between Tory factions akin to the one that is going on with Labour, and/or with a Tory PM who is less popular than Kinnock.

Also, avoiding some of Kinnock's unforced errors earlier on in the parliament over things like unilateral disarmament would not go amiss.
 

RyanF

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I think a hung Parliament is the best that can be managed by Kinnock and Labour in 1987, and even then they might not have the highest or even the second highest number of seats.

The Alliance were polling very well in 1986/7 until a disagreement over defence policy was picked up by the press and ran with as a major story. If as some suggest there has been something horrible, or maybe even a bigger Westland scandal, it might not be as plastered over the front page.

I'll lay a fiver on disastrous Conservative/SDP government being the best Labour can achieve in 1987.
 

Time Enough

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I'll lay a fiver on disastrous Conservative/SDP government being the best Labour can achieve in 1987.
That’d be quite interesting in itself, how long would a Conservative/SDP Government be able to survive? Like it’s dependent on how much David Owen wants to play ball. Also a 87’ Labour that’s done this much better probably won’t be feeling the need to carry on fully doing Blair style reforms.
 

iainbhx

Daddy wouldn't buy me a Bauhaus
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That’d be quite interesting in itself, how long would a Conservative/SDP Government be able to survive? Like it’s dependent on how much David Owen wants to play ball. Also a 87’ Labour that’s done this much better probably won’t be feeling the need to carry on fully doing Blair style reforms.
I wouldn't like to bet that the 1987 SDP might not split at this juncture as well.

I can't see Kennedy or Maclennan going with Doctor Death at this point. John Cartwright will, of course and Rosie Fucking Barnes will do whatever Cartwright does. I suppose they might have got George Cunningham in and at a real stretch Ian Wrigglesworth might have held his seat, but the SDP are very limited in possible gains by the sort of old stagers who would stick with David Owen. Had they won Oxford West or Bath or Cambridge, I think those MPs might have stuck with the Liberals.
 

Cevolian

Well-known member
I wouldn't like to bet that the 1987 SDP might not split at this juncture as well.

I can't see Kennedy or Maclennan going with Doctor Death at this point. John Cartwright will, of course and Rosie Fucking Barnes will do whatever Cartwright does. I suppose they might have got George Cunningham in and at a real stretch Ian Wrigglesworth might have held his seat, but the SDP are very limited in possible gains by the sort of old stagers who would stick with David Owen. Had they won Oxford West or Bath or Cambridge, I think those MPs might have stuck with the Liberals.
I’d echo this - as someone who was at one stage a regular purveyor of shit wacky SDP PM lists, the big problem is it’s much easier to just say “and then the SDP splits and half join the Tories Lol” than it is to actually game that out. Once you try to show your workings it’s hard to find even close to the numbers you’d need for that sort of thing, and as Iain says, most of the newer SDP MPs aren’t going to defect when they know they probably owe their seats to alliance with the Liberals.

I’m sure that Crewe and King have since been surpassed by historiographical revisionists, but I’d definitely recommend their book on the SDP. I read it when I was tinkering around with trying a more serious thing on an SDP mini break through and Tory coalition, but unfortunately, as I think their work shows, there were some pretty fatal issues with the SDP which make doing anything interesting and plausible difficult. There’s great potential for a breakthrough in 83, for example, but that’s about it, and enough excellent AH has already been written on the subject.
 
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