Case Study Mrs Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher had a very eventful eleven years in office.

The Thatcher Years 1

The Thatcher Years 2

Downing Street Years

Thatcher originally came to power on the back of Labour unpopularity (after the Winter of Discontent, of 1978/9) but was not a hugely popular prime minister when first elected. Her philosophy became more popular during her premiership and she was assisted by deep divisions and a full split in the Labour Party in the early 1980s.

She also was prime minister during a period of significant social change, where many of the manufacturing industries, that had once been home to large active trade unions, organising a Labour vote, were in decline. Indeed, by the late 1980s and early 1990s, some political scientists were beginning to ask if Labour could ever win elections again.

When Thatcher came to power in 1979 her first Cabinet contained a mix of "Thatcherites" and "Wets". None were still there when Thatcher left power in 1990.

Thatcher had a very eventful period in office:

While the miners’ strike and industrial decline has dominated popular culture representations of the period, it was probably the “Poll tax” and divisions about Europe which dominated the closing years of the Thatcher premiership and led to her downfall.