I think we've settled into a cycle whereby the government of the day stays in power until the electorate's perception of how awful they are overwhelms their memory of how awful the last lot were, at which point the other side gets back in. And so on.
I don't think it's just perception and opinion that the electorate cycle around - I think it's not just purely opinion on the current government and how they're performing, per se - I think there's an aspect of how they address policy, too. I think tastes for the various types of politics cycle, too, as each, in their own way, ends up being corrupted by the power they wield and the longer they do so.
Given the Conservatives winning in '79 - regardless of where you sit in the political spectrum - the country needed a change in how it was being run. So the country replaced the then Labour government with MT. Whether, or not, she went about things in the best way for everybody, she certainly addressed or halted some aspects that painfully needed addressing. Perhaps too far, and with too much of a political or idealogical bent, but all the same...
After a long while of any political type of government being in power, the longer it goes on for, the more excesses, liberties and policy aspects from the government thinking they are largely unassailable. After a certain point, both politically and ideologically, the electorate will then crave the traits of the grass-is-greener opposition, and so the cycle spins again.
For at least some of the first part of Blair's 97 onwards government, it wasn't so clear cut in terms of them being quite different from the Conservatives - because in fairness, New Labour was probably nearer contemporary Conservatism than old Labour.
Like Thatcher before him, though, Blair was hampered by his cabinet and petty back-biting by Brown, who's ego got in the way of really what he should have known better. That and the party really forgot what it was that truly got them electable again, and so they threw it all away, on scapegoat-ism in Blair.
This should all be no suprise, though, really - two-and-a-bit party politics is bound to be cyclical in this way, really. Seeing as both political parties will go beyond purely sense and reason, in terms of also imposing their ideology on policy, as their time and perceived strength sustains.
Perhaps that also goes to explain perception of the current coalition - not true toryism in the image of Thatcher's era, not anything truly substantial to differentiate, a mish-mash and compromise, albeit with one of the political parties wearing a bigger penis than the other.
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