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Last Updated: Sunday, 5 March 2006, 18:51 GMT
SDP Diaspora

Roy Jenkins, David Owen, Bill Rodgers and Shirley Williams at the SDP's launch on 26 March 1981
The SDP was official launched by the 'gang of four' in March 1981

Twenty-five years on from its launch, what impact did the Social Democratic Party have on British political life?

In a two part Sunday Supplement series broadcast in February and March 2006, Mark D'Arcy looks back at the party that was supposed to put an end to two-party politics.

He discovers that, rather than smashing Labour or the Conservatives, the legacy of the SDP was to provide a host of politicians and advisors for them.

In part one, he discovers how a number of younger SDP activists went on, after the party was wound-up, to be leading advisors to John Major's Conservative government and William Hague's opposition.

Mark D'Arcy
Mark D'Arcy is a BBC Parliamentary Correspondent

In part two of his series exploring how many of the SDP lost a party but still won power, Mark D'Arcy talks to the social democrats who made their peace with New Labour and found a place at the heart of Government.

SDP Diaspora
Part One

SDP Diaspora
Part Two


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