Party politics and elections

Why 2017 may have witnessed a Youthquake after all

While prominent immediately after Labour’s performance in the 2017 election, the idea of a ‘youthquake’ has since been challenged by the British Election Study team. Using the latest data from the Understanding Society survey, however, Patrick Sturgis and Will Jennings show that there was, after all, a large and significant increase in turnout amongst the under 30s.

The 2017 snap […]

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    Vote switchers: the two groups of voters whose values the main parties must understand

Vote switchers: the two groups of voters whose values the main parties must understand

Looking at voters’ values helps explain the UK’s changing electoral landscape, write Paula Surridge, Michael Turner, Robert Struthers, and Clive McDonnell. They look at vote switching between 2015 and 2017, and explain why the two main parties need to understand the values of two specific groups of voters in order to appeal to them.

The period between the 2010 general […]

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    Memes, Gifs, and political scientists: taking digital politics seriously

Memes, Gifs, and political scientists: taking digital politics seriously

Jonathan Dean writes that there is an unease in the way in which political science addresses social media and digital politics. He argues that the discipline needs to avoid such squeamishness if it is to adequately grasp the texture and character of contemporary politics.

In May 2017, the BBC broadcast a pre-election Question Time special. In it, a total of […]

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    How did New Labour become ‘neoliberal’? Ed Miliband’s efforts to break with the party’s past

How did New Labour become ‘neoliberal’? Ed Miliband’s efforts to break with the party’s past

As soon as Gordon Brown left office, Labour began to critique its own legacy in government. Glen O’Hara explains the impact of Ed Miliband’s criticism of his predecessors, and the long-term effects of that approach.

It’s impossible to begin any assessment of Labour’s last period in office without reference to the idea of ‘neoliberalism’. In many ways that critique is […]

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    There is no left-wing case for Brexit: 21st century socialism requires transnational organization

There is no left-wing case for Brexit: 21st century socialism requires transnational organization

The contribution of traditional social democracy to the consolidation of neoliberalism in Europe illustrates the difficulties of developing a nationalist left alternative in the contemporary capitalist state, argues Lea Ypi. Contemporary socialism requires new ways of organising and must be transnational. Using the British case, she explains why neither Remain nor Leave fully capture the demands of the left.

The […]

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    Northern Ireland for English Cabinet Ministers and other beginners

Northern Ireland for English Cabinet Ministers and other beginners

Brexit has exposed much confusion about the history and processes of Northern Ireland, both among the public and government ministers. In an effort to provide some clarity, Sean Swan offers an overview.

Given the importance of the Irish border in the Brexit negotiations, the lack of knowledge about Northern Ireland displayed by senior English politicians is depressing. Perhaps the ultimate […]

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    All things to all people: the UK–EU relationship in David Cameron’s speeches

All things to all people: the UK–EU relationship in David Cameron’s speeches

David Cameron was the Prime Minister who promised and delivered a referendum on EU membership, shortly after which he left politics. How did he present the UK–EU relationship during his premiership? Monika Brusenbauch Meislová finds that he adopted a combination of antithetical sub-discourses, which he naturally failed to integrate into a coherent and sustainable discourse.

Under the premiership of the […]

Why do we care what our politicians get paid?

Since payments for MPs were introduced in the early 20th century, the rhetoric used to justify them has changed markedly. Initially, writes Nicholas Dickinson, any remuneration was almost always construed in terms of broadening democratic representation. Related to a landmark 1971 report, however, MPs increasingly began to be depicted as political professionals. This change in framing allowed salaries to […]