The Original and Best (Nov 30 2005)
David Butler and Dennis Kavanagh have become a part of Britain’s fabled unwritten constitution. They have collaborated on studies of the last nine general elections (since February 1974), continuing a series that started with David Butler as the research assistant to the Nuffield study of 1945. I remember once a Conservative friend telling me that he asked his Central Office predecessor how frank he should be when Butler came for an interview. ‘Tell him everything, of course!’ was the instruction.
For a reflective, inside view of an election campaign, and detailed analysis of the results and the broad trends (produced at great speed for such an enterprise), Butler and Kavanagh have always been reliable (although now the field is much more crowded) and balanced. I’m looking forward to reading the latest version on 2005. We called it ‘the worst election ever’. I’m sure Butler and Kavanagh will provide much ammunition for this view.