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Scenario Request


drcynic

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I don't know if anyone would be willing, but every time I attempt to do it, it screws up, so I thought I'd make the request here.

I'm requesting an alternate 1992 where the SDP-Liberal Alliance had won in 1987 and the Prime Minister could be either David Owen or David Steel. If anyone would be willing to help me out, it'd be greatly appreciated.

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  • 2 months later...

Actually the more likely scenario would be an alternate 1987 in which the Alliance won in 1983. Why? The famous "go back to your constituencies and prepare for government" speech was made in 1981 in response to soaring to 50% in the polls. It's not implausible this might have held until the election, with the Alliance drawing the support of moderate Labour supporters alienated by foot and economic reformers who felt Thatcher's union busting (crisis capitalism avant la lettre) was too severe and denationalisation was being forced through too quickly. Galtieri's invasion of the Falklands however, with Thatcher's swift and decisive response, caused support for the Tories to surge. It might not look like it to see the final result but there's good reason to think that if the Falklands war had not happened the Alliance might have won in 1983. No such possibility (in my opinion) exists for 1987 election so if you were wanting a plausibly alternate history election you should be thinking in terms of a 1987 election in which the Alliance won in 83. I might see about making one, but I'd be more interested in making a non-Falklands 1983.

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By the start of the 1983 General Election campaign, the Alliance had fallen back from its 1981 poll peak, and the 1983 election never looked like giving anything other than a clear Tory majority.

At the start of the 1987 general election campaign, the Alliance were shown in most polls to be level with the other two parties in a fairly even three-way vote split.

I'm into Alternate election scenarios though not particularly a 1992 one.

Lawrence: I assume that your starting point is a 1992 scenario that someone else has created. You can play around with the electoral trends file to try and get a realistic starting point but I always found this cumbersome. If I was doing an alternate 1992 along the lines you were suggesting, I would painstakingly go into the ridings file and input the starting vote for each party in each riding. And before you ask, no I wouldn't like to do this for you. Good luck.

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If the Falklands war had not happened the Alliance might have won in 1983.

By the start of the 1983 General Election campaign, the Alliance had fallen back from its 1981 poll peak, and the 1983 election never looked like giving anything other than a clear Tory majority.

These are not at all inconsistent. In fact, given the Falklands war occurred in 1982 if you were looking for an explanation as to why the polling figures for 1983 had dropped from 1981 the Falklands War would seem a rather compelling candidate explanation even absent the details. I could seek out some external opinions to quote if you like but suffice it to say it's not an uncommon view that /had/ the Falklands War not occured, the 1981 figures might have gone all the way to 1983. It wasn't supposed to be a claim about what actually occured in 1983, but rather that if Lawrence wished to make a counterfactual scenario in which the Liberal-SDP Alliance were in with a chance of winning outright the obvious setting would seem to be a Falkland-War-free 1983.

At the start of the 1987 general election campaign, the Alliance were shown in most polls to be level with the other two parties in a fairly even three-way vote split.

True, but as anyone who has played as the Liberals in any of these scenarios is now aware if they weren't before, a three way split, given the lack of overall geographical concentration of the Liberal vote, leaves them with around 100 seats. In order to win a majority outright you'd have to be talking about polling something in the region of mid-40s to 50, which 87 polling never got anywhere close to. In fact the only polls that have come anywhere near were those in 1981 and those of the immediate post-debate spike in 2010 (and we all know how solid that turned out to be).

If I was doing an alternate 1992 along the lines you were suggesting, I would painstakingly go into the ridings file and input the starting vote for each party in each riding

The best thing to do (and something which if a PMF editor is ever created, it should be able to do, is to put the extant riding/constituency data into a database and apply a universal swing to it (whatever swing is required to give enough LD MPs for a majority); that would give you a realistic looking result to input.

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  • 2 weeks later...

True, but as anyone who has played as the Liberals in any of these scenarios is now aware if they weren't before, a three way split, given the lack of overall geographical concentration of the Liberal vote, leaves them with around 100 seats. In order to win a majority outright you'd have to be talking about polling something in the region of mid-40s to 50, which 87 polling never got anywhere close to. In fact the only polls that have come anywhere near were those in 1981 and those of the immediate post-debate spike in 2010 (and we all know how solid that turned out to be).

When I said that 'at the start of the 1987 general election campaign, the Alliance were shown in most polls to be level with the other two parties in a fairly even three-way vote split.' I should have pointed out that it had been traditional for the support of the third party to rise during a General election campaign by about 6%, which could easily have resulted in an Alliance majority. However, 1987 bucked the trend and the Alliance support fell away.

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