Andrew Fraser (First Among Equals)

Andrew Fraser (First Among Equals)

Andrew Fraser is a fictional character in the political novel "First Among Equals," by Jeffrey Archer. He is a British politician of the Labour Party and later the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

Fraser was the son of a Scottish Conservative politician, but turned to moderate Labour politics as a young man. He married his wife Louise after falling in love at first sight (and dumping his long-term girlfriend immediately). They had one natural child, Robert, who was run down by a car and killed; Louise lost the power of speech for a time as a result. They later adopted a daughter.

Fraser's career in the Labour Party was cut short when he found his party to be swinging towards much more leftist stance that neither Andrew nor many of his fellow party-members shared, which was aggravated by his local party committee deselecting him from his Edinburgh constituency, replacing him with the far-left activist Frank Boyle. At the ensuing general election, Fraser stood as the SDP candidate, and tied with Boyle for votes (something which has never, in reality, happened in British parliamentary elections). This required the Returning Officer to decide between them by tossing a coin. Fraser correctly called 'tails' and was returned to the House of Commons.

The novel culminates in an extremely close general election in 1991 (it was published in 1984). By this time, Fraser is the leader of the SDP, which holds the balance of power in a hung parliament. His fellow SDP MPs are evenly split on which of the two main party leaders, Raymond Gould of Labour and Simon Kerslake of the Conservatives, to endorse as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. They leave the decision to Fraser personally.

Fraser endorses Gould in the original British edition of the novel, as well as the ITV television adaptation which ends with King Charles III inviting Gould to Buckingham Palace and asking him to form a government. However, in the U.S. edition, Kerslake becomes Prime Minister.

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