British General Election series

The British General Election of 2010

Authors: Kavanagh, Dennis, Cowley, Philip

Buy this book

Hardcover £89.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-230-52189-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover £54.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-230-52190-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

The British General Election of 2010 is a must-read for anyone wanting to know how the action unfolded in the most dramatic election for a generation. Drawing on hundreds of confidential interviews with all the key players, it offers a compelling insider's guide to the election's background, campaign and results, including a detailed account of what really happened in the formation of the UK's first coalition government since the second world war. Designed to appeal to everyone from Westminster insiders, to politics students and to the wider general public, this is the authoritative account of the 2010 election. Continuing a proud Palgrave Macmillan tradition, The British General Election of 2010 is the eighteenth in the prestigious series of books dating back to 1945.

About the authors

Dennis Kavanagh is Emeritus Professor of Politics at the University of Liverpool, UK. His extensive works include Thatcherism and British Politics, British Politics: Continuities and Change, and he has been involved in every one of the Palgrave Macmillan election studies since February 1974.

Philip Cowley is Professor of Parliamentary Government at the University of Nottingham, UK. His many publications include The Rebels: How Blair Mislaid His Majority and Conscience and Parliament.


'...the Bible of General Elections.' David Dimbleby, BBC

'...a riveting read... Forget the Blair and Mandelson works - this is easily the best political book of the year.' - Mike Smithson,

'It's popular academic writing at its best, combining a clear narrative (using anecdotes and quotes garnered from more than 300 background interviews) with lots of solid, meaty number-crunching.' Andrew Sparrow, The Guardian

'Dennis Kavanagh and Philip Cowley have penned a political thriller.... The book is distinguished by the quality of its sources: the ministers, aides and strategists who open up to these academics in a way they might not to journalists.' - The Observer

'Indispensable' Matthew d'Ancona, The Telegraph

'...magisterial...' - David Mills,

' excellent and indispensable ' -

'Mandelson and Blair's books will get all the attention, but if you want real insight into the last election, Kavanagh and Cowley look like they're on the money.' - Paul Waugh, London Evening Standard

'required reading for anyone interested in British politics' Progress

'A British General Election is not over until this book appears.'

Peter Hennessy, FBA, Attlee Professor of Contemporary History, Queen Mary, University of London, UK

'The quality of the analysis is as sharp as ever' - Lord Adonis, Fabian Review

'The original and still the best. Kavanagh and Cowley use their unparalleled access to Britain's top politicians and their backroom staff to produce an account of this historic election, and the formation of the coalition that followed it, which rings true at every level. Authoritative, fascinating, and often wryly amusing, this book once again sets the standard.'

Tim Bale, Professor of Politics, Sussex University, author of The Conservative Party from Thatcher to Cameron.

'The gold standard of political writing. If you want to know what really happened in the 2010 General Election, look no further. This is the first draft of history, fresh and authoritative ... our first TV debates, the election that never was in 2007, the whole drama is explained with wit and authority.'

Gary Gibbon, Political Editor, Channel 4

'As lively as the best journalism and as rigorous as the best academic treatise, the ... series fully deserve their reputation as the best books on national elections anywhere in the world. In order to unravel the full story of the 2010 election and its extraordinary aftermath, Dennis Kavanagh and Philip Cowley have talked at length to insiders at the heart of each party's campaign and it shows. The result is a book that fully maintains the dazzling standards set over half a century by the incomparable David Butler.'

Peter Kellner, President, YouGov

'The General Election series of books has become an institution. Dennis Kavanagh is one of the wisest minds patrolling the borders of academic politics and contemporary history and Philip Cowley is a brilliant choice to join him in maintaining the series. He is one of the sharpest chroniclers of Westminster politics: I admire his independence of judgement and willingness to puncture bubbles of media myth about the way that Parliament and Government works.'

John Rentoul, Chief Political Editor, Independent on Sunday

'The 2010 election was like no other. There is still much to learn about what happened during the campaign and Cowley and Kavanagh lay out all the facts in clear, comprehensible detail. Access to sources at the very top of the political parties ensures this book is essential reading if you want to know what really went on behind the scenes.'

Andrew Hawkins, Chief Executive, ComRes

'The 65-year-old series of books on British General Elections has become the Wisden of politics essential reading for anyone wanting to know what happened during the campaigns and the significance of the outcome.'

Peter Riddell, Senior Fellow, The Institute for Government and former Chief Political Commentator of The Times

Praise for previous editions

'a unique cocktail of analysis, narrative and insider insight, are the authoritative guide to postwar electoral politics.'

Andrew Adonis, Times Literary Supplement

'A formidable achievement ... The studies have become by now almost part of our democratic fabric.'

Anthony Howard, The Listener

'The renowned ... election books demand shelf space and deserve frequent reference. Essential to the scholar of the British politics of our time.'

Robert Worcester, MORI, Parliamentary History

'Anyone familiar with previous volumes knows what a joy this book is, how it is packed with juicy morsels of political fact and incisive analysis.'

Jay Adams, Times Higher Education Supplement

'If generations to come want to know exactly what happened they have a reliable source to look it up in ... the solid, objective, verifiable story of what happened, when and why, set in impeccably numerate context.'

David McKie, Guardian

'The best series anywhere on national elections.'

Lancelot L. Farrar, Annals of American Academy of Political and Social Science

Buy this book

Hardcover £89.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-230-52189-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover £54.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-230-52190-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

Services for this book

Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The British General Election of 2010
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited
Hardcover ISBN
Softcover ISBN
Edition Number
Number of Pages
XVII, 454