Sunday, May 15, 2011

The British General Election of 2010 ed. Philip Cowley and Denis Cavanagh

There has been a slew of books about the momentous events of the 2010 General Election, but the Nuffield originated survey, of which this is the latest, remains the most comprehensive and probably insightful. Cowley is a new authorial partner for the veteran Denis Kavanagh, and they cover pretty well everything you could possibly want to know about the 2010 election, including the state of the parties beforehand ( a chapter one each), the media dimension, including the television debates, and of course those 'Five Days in May' which saw the establishment of the Coalition. It also has an exhaustive survey of the election results part-authored by the ever reliable Professor John Curtice, so until the next election, this is the definitive election book.

The End of the Party by Andrew Rawnsley

The sequel to the Observer journalist's "Servants of the People", this is the book that blew the lid off the dysfunctional relationship at the heart of government between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. In many ways the definitive account of the last two terms of New Labour, it is long but immensely readable and, for the careful politics student, contains some excellent material on the nature of prime ministerial power and the operation of Number 10.