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Elected to the office at the end of a decade of economic decline, Prime Minister Margaret the set out to cure Britain's ills with daring new free-market policies. Putting financial stability first on the agenda of macroeconomic priorities, the Thatcher government pursued this goal with rare tenacity. In Confidence Regained, Helmut Norpoth examines the electoral risks and rewards of this economic strategy.
Professor Norpoth paints a vivid picture of the fierce battle over the economic policies and record of the Thatcher government. Using electoral surveys, Norpoth reveals how British voters sorted out the competing claims of economics and politicians in their various partisan choices. Turning from election outcomes to government popularity between elections, Professor Norpoth charts the rise and decline of Margaret Thatcher's approval ratings and Conservative party support, showing how responsive these ratings were to economic performance.
The statistical evidence presented shows that economic views significantly affected voter choices in the Thatcher elections. But the author reveals that the Conservatives under Mrs. Thatcher owed their ability to regain the confidence of the British electorate not only to the nation's economic success, but also, in large measure, to the British victory in teh Falkland Islands.
Confidence Regained is an invaluable source to scholars of electoral politics, especially of British elections, but it will also interest historians of Thatcherism and scholars studying the role of macroeconomics in elections.