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Why winning got so difficult: the changing political rules

The ground rules have been rewritten, so all sides of the spectrum can feel frustrated at once

By Tom Clark   March 2019

© STEVE BACK/DAILY MAIL/SHUTTERSTOCK

Everything in British politics used to guard against stalemate. Even close-fought elections provided clear winners. Vote shares were often close: in 1950, 1951, 1955, 1964, 1970, February and then October 1974, the rounded gap between the parties was no more than three points, and less than a point in three cases. But only one of these votes, February 1974, failed to return a PM with a working majority, and that was addressed by the October re-run.

Through the 80s, 90s and noughties, one party…

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