This chapter examines the impact of a broken pledge on subsequent attempts at promise-making. Taking as its case study the Liberal Democrats’ U-turn on university tuition fees, it uses rhetorical analysis to examine the Party’s strategies of image restoration, which in turn provided a foundation for their manifesto pledges in the 2015 general election campaign. However, the Liberal Democrats were unable to neutralize the dominant narrative that, on entering into coalition with the Conservatives, they sacrificed their principles for power. The chapter also considers why the Liberal Democrats’ broken promises were so damaging to their reputation, and it concludes that the episode has become an iteration of the ‘betrayal myth’, a warning to politicians against making promises on which they cannot deliver.
|Title of host publication||Electoral Pledges in Britain since 1918|
|Subtitle of host publication||The Politics of Promises|
|Editors||David Thackeray, Richard Toye|
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|