Party politics and elections

The constitutional implications of a second EU referendum

Andrew Blick outlines some of the constitutional issues to which the question of a second EU referendum gives rise. He writes that unless these matters are given serious consideration in advance of such a decision, the repetition of the exercise is unlikely to improve matters and might even aggravate them.

The idea of a second EU referendum of some kind, […]

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    Democratic dynasties: why are certain families successful in politics?

Democratic dynasties: why are certain families successful in politics?

Are MPs with longer careers more likely to help their relatives and establish a political dynasty? Brenda Van Coppenolle considers this question in relation to the UK and by looking at the careers of members of the House of Commons since 1832.

Political dynasties play an important role in present-day democracies. Consider, for example, the Trudeaus, the Bushes, the […]

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    Winning back votes from the far right: does the centre right’s focus on immigration pay off?

Winning back votes from the far right: does the centre right’s focus on immigration pay off?

With the rise of far-right parties in Europe during the 2000s, some centre-right parties spotted an opportunity to win back votes by pivoting towards immigration. James F Downes and Matthew Loveless find that they were more successful if they were out of government at the time. Incumbent centre-right parties, on the other hand, struggled to cut through on the issue.

What has driven the […]

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    A mess of pottage? The North of Tyne deal and the travails of devolution

A mess of pottage? The North of Tyne deal and the travails of devolution

John Tomaney focuses on the proposed deal between government and the North of Tyne area. He explains why it fails to meet the government’s own definition of appropriate devolution arrangements, and why local government leaders have nonetheless accepted it.

…and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with […]

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    How effective is Parliament in controlling UK government and representing citizens?

How effective is Parliament in controlling UK government and representing citizens?

As part of the 2017 Audit of UK Democracy, Artemis Photiadou and Patrick Dunleavy consider how well the House of Commons functions as a legislature. Is Parliament still an effective focus of national debate and close control of the executive? And how well does the Commons function in scrutinising and passing legislation, or monitoring policy implementation?

What does democracy require for the legislature in […]

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    How are prime ministers held to account? A survey of procedures in 32 parliamentary democracies

How are prime ministers held to account? A survey of procedures in 32 parliamentary democracies

How are prime ministers held to account by their parliaments, and how do UK mechanisms on the matter fare in comparison to those in other countries? Ruxandra Serban explores the different procedures in place across 32 parliamentary democracies to answer these questions.

Prime ministers are prominent political actors in parliamentary democracies, yet there is little understanding of how they are […]

Was Damian Green really the Deputy Prime Minister?

From which post was Damian Green sacked? The newspapers don’t seem to agree. Stephen Thornton and Jonathan Kirkup explain the historical development of the role of Deputy Prime Minister and its complexities, and give their own list of contenders over the years based on a combination of key criteria.

And so farewell, from the cabinet table at least, Damian Green. […]

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    Europe’s ageing societies require immigration to survive – and that means anti-immigration politics is here to stay

Europe’s ageing societies require immigration to survive – and that means anti-immigration politics is here to stay

Opposition to immigration is typically cited as one of the key factors behind Brexit and the growth of new populist parties across Europe. Nate Breznau writes that, with many European countries requiring immigration to compensate for ageing populations, the future is likely to see both a significant increase in immigration and a further rise in the salience of anti-immigration […]