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26 May 2010
Election 2010: how we got hung?

Even though the dust has almost settled on the general election, there are still more questions than answers, with many pundits left scratching their heads wondering what actually happened on May 6.

Image of Election lettering and Big Ben

A special workshop to be held at The University of Nottingham on Friday June 4 2010, will help us make sense of what was one of the most extraordinary elections in recent history.

Professor Steven Fielding is the Director of the Centre for British Politics who will host the event: “The British general election of 2010 was significant and unique in a number of ways. It brought the New Labour project to a conclusion after 13 years in office and started an era of coalition politics, which may very well end with a new electoral system for Westminster.

“The televised debates were an unexpectedly influential factor in the race for No.10 and accounted for the rise of Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats. Despite so-called ‘Cleggmania’, however, it remained a fairly traditional male-dominated campaign, despite predictions that it would be a ‘Mumsnet’ election.”
Some of the questions to be addressed will be:
  Blue arrow button  Why did the Conservatives fail to win an outright majority?
  Blue arrow button  Why did Labour do so badly? 
  Blue arrow button  Why did the LibDem surge end so disappointingly?

The conference will also look at a number of key issues arising from the election including:
  Blue arrow button  How Britain voted and the new look parliament.
  Blue arrow button  The parties, campaigns, strategies and coverage.
  Blue arrow button  The issues driving the election; from the economy to international security.

Former Sherwood MP and Nottingham alumnus Paddy Tipping, will also reflect on Labour’s campaign strengths and weaknesses.

This workshop will bring together leading experts in the field of British politics who will be contributing to a special edition of Parliamentary Affairs and a book to be published by Oxford University Press.

The event is sponsored by Parliamentary Affairs, Oxford University Press and the Centre for British Politics.

Registration is free, but please contact Sue Simpson for further details:

For further information and insights on the election visit the School of Politics and International Relations’ Election 2010 Blog at

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© The University of Nottingham 2009