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In the run-up to the general election of May 2010 it was universally acknowledged that whatever the outcome, this vote would start a fresh chapter in British political history. But no one anticipated just how fresh that chapter would be – Twists and turns made it an election like no other.

David Cameron launched the Tories’ poster campaign with an unblemished photograph of himself – and it became the most parodied image of the election. Nick Clegg went into the first of the leaders’ television debates derided as ‘The Other One’ – and emerged as a major player, with ‘I agree with Nick’ the campaign’s unlikely catchphrase. Mrs Gillian Duffy went out to buy a loaf of bread in Rochdale – and happened to encounter Gordon Brown, with disastrous consequences for the Labour cause.

But none of the soap opera of the weeks leading up to 6 May could match the drama of the days following the election’s inconclusive result: the positioning, the posturing, the negotiating and the bargaining which eventually saw David Cameron moving into 10 Downing Street in a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats. A fresh chapter in political history – and a fresh level of political theatre incisively described by Nicholas Jones.

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  • ISBN: 9781849542685
  • 31 October 2011
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