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The Conservative Coalition, 2010-15

3. The Economy

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about how the coalition government handled the economy in the period 2010-15, focusing in particular on: (i) the centrality of the issue of the budget deficit, which had increased hugely as a result of the global financial crisis; (ii) Chancellor George Osborne’s emergency budget of June 2010, in which he announced swingeing cuts to public services in order to reduce the budget deficit; (iii) David Cameron’s ‘big society’ initiative; (iv) the extent to which the coalition government achieved their economic goals; and (v) the extent to which the cuts enacted by the coalition government would have been matched by a Labour government (or Labour-led coalition) had they been in charge.


In this course, Dr Matt Beech (University of Hull) explores the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government of 2010-15. The first module, we think about the key background to the formation of the coalition in 2010 – how and why did the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats come to form the first formal coalition in the post-war period?. After that, in the second module, we think about the extent to which the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats had a shared political ideology, before turning in the third module to consider their respective positions on the economy. In the fourth module, we think about why Europe became such a big issue in the course of the Parliament, leading to Cameron promising an in-out referendum on Europe in January 2013, before turning in the fifth module to consider the legacy of the 2010-15 coalition – in terms of the subsequent electoral fortunes for the constituent parties, and in terms of the character of UK politics more broadly.


Dr Matt Beech is Reader in Politics at the University of Hull, where he is the Director of the Centre for British Politics. He is a specialist in post-war British political history, government and ideas. His recent publications include (as co-editor) The struggle for Labour's soul: Understanding Labour's political thought since 1945 (2018).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Beech, M. (2020, December 29). The Conservative Coalition, 2010-15 - The Economy [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Beech, M. "The Conservative Coalition, 2010-15 – The Economy." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 29 Dec 2020,