School of Politics and International Studies

Research Events

Leaders of the Opposition: from Churchill to Cameron

09 July 2010 | Leaders of the Opposition: from Churchill to Cameron | Conference

Social Sciences Building 11.13

A conference organised by the Leaders, Parties and Institutions (LPI) Research Group, School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) and the Political Studies Association (PSA) Specialist Group on Political Leadership.

Supported by the Opposition Studies Forum.

Rationale

The aim of this conference is to consider both the circumstances, whether they be constraining or enhancing, and the performance of each of the leaders of the opposition from Churchill to Cameron.

Each opposition leader will be evaluated against set criteria of effective opposition leadership performance. Paper givers will be asked to base their analysis around the following model for evaluating opposition leadership performance.

  1. Their proficiency as a public communicator
  2. Their construction of a public policy platform
  3. Their abilities at party management
  4. Their cognitive style and emotional intelligence

The criteria would form the basis through which papers could be delivered, which would evaluate the contexts and skills of all post-war leaders of the opposition, through which conclusions could be reached on ...

  1. the changing role of the leader of the opposition
  2. the factors which make for a successful leader of the opposition.

Conference Programme

Venue: Social Sciences Building 11.14

9.00am: Arrival - Tea and Coffee

9.15am: Introduction

9.30 to 11.15am: Conservative Party Opposition Leaders 1945-1979

Venue: Social Sciences Building 11.13

  • 1945-1951: Winston Churchill - Professor Kevin Theakston, University of Leeds
  • 1963-1964: Alec Douglas-Home - Dr Michael Hill, University of Central Lancashire
  • 1964-1970 and 1974-1975: Edward Heath - Dr Mark Garnett, University of Lancaster
  • 1975-1979: Margaret Thatcher - Professor Lord Norton, University of Hull

11.15 to 11.30am: Tea and Coffee

Venue: Social Sciences Building 11.14

11.30 to 12.30: Labour Party Opposition Leaders 1955-1974

Venue: Social Sciences Building 11.13

  • 1955-1963: Hugh Gaitskell - Dr Timothy Heppell, University of Leeds
  • 1963-1964 and 1970-1974: Harold Wilson - Dr Pete Dorey, Cardiff University

12.30 to 1.00pm: Lunch

Venue: Social Sciences Building 11.14

1.00 to 1.30pm: Opposition Studies Forum

Venue: Social Sciences Building 11.13

  • Nigel Fletcher, Director of the Opposition Studies Forum 

1.30 to 3.15pm: Labour Party Opposition Leaders 1979-1994

Venue: Social Sciences Building 11.13

  • 1979-1980: James Callaghan - Dr Stephen Meredith, University of Central Lancashire
  • 1980-1983: Michael Foot - Ed Gouge, University of Leeds
  • 1983-1992: Neil Kinnock - Dr Simon Griffiths, Goldsmiths College, London
  • 1992-1994: John Smith - Dr Mark Stuart, University of Nottingham

3.15 to 3.30pm: Tea and Coffee

Venue: Social Sciences Building 11.14

3.30 to 5.15pm: Conservative Party Opposition Leaders 1997-2010

Venue: Social Sciences Building 11.13

  • 1997-2001: William Hague - Nigel Fletcher, Director of the Opposition Studies Forum
  • 2001-2003: Iain Duncan Smith - Dr Richard Hayton, University of Huddersfield
  • 2003-2005: Michael Howard - Dr Mark Garnett, University of Lancaster and Dr Andrew Denham, University of Nottingham
  • 2005-2010: David Cameron - Dr Tim Bale, Sussex University

5.15pm: Closure of Conference

Location Details

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Leaders of the Opposition: from Churchill to Cameron

09 July 2010
Leaders of the Opposition: from Churchill to Cameron
Conference
Social Sciences Building 11.13

Convenor

Dr Timothy Heppell
Lecturer in British Politics
School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)
University of Leeds
Leeds
LS2 9JT
e-mail: t.heppell@leeds.ac.uk



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