Party politics and elections

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    Labour’s manifesto-making process and why it is a source of organisational grief for the party

Labour’s manifesto-making process and why it is a source of organisational grief for the party

Throughout Labour’s history, there has been a lack of consensus over who has a say in manifestos, explains Robin Pettitt. On the one hand are those who favour parliamentary independence when it comes to agreeing on policies, and on the other are those who favour the involvement of grassroots members, rendering the manifesto-making process an ongoing organisational struggle.

Party manifestos […]

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    The many roles of manifestos at the subnational level in British general elections

The many roles of manifestos at the subnational level in British general elections

Alistair Clark and Lynn Bennie assess the roles of national party manifestos across Britain, Scotland, and Wales in UK-wide general elections, and illustrate the multiple functions these documents perform in complex multilevel systems of government.

The devolution of powers to new institutions in Scotland and Wales from 1999 has had consequences for the programmes and manifestos that parties campaign on […]

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    The LibDems’ 2018 performance was underwhelming – but these were not the elections to judge the party on

The LibDems’ 2018 performance was underwhelming – but these were not the elections to judge the party on

Despite media headlines to the contrary, the Liberal Democrats’ performance in the recent local elections was pretty underwhelming, explains David Cutts. But it is the 2019 local elections that will tell us more about the long-term viability of the party, since those will concern a larger number of English districts where the LibDems will be seeking to reclaim ground […]

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    Secretively open: identifying patterns in Theresa May’s approach to secrecy

Secretively open: identifying patterns in Theresa May’s approach to secrecy

Theresa May presides over one of the leakiest governments in British history, with claims from ministers often undermined by a leak saying the exact opposite. Ben Worthy reads the runes of May’s approach to secrecy and attempts to find a common pattern from her Home Office years and into her premiership.

Most prime ministers have an awkward relationship with the […]

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    The importance of geography, demographics, and identity in analysing the 2018 local elections

The importance of geography, demographics, and identity in analysing the 2018 local elections

John Denham highlights some of the underlying shifts in political behaviour and geography as revealed in the recent local election results. He concludes by offering some thoughts on the challenges facing the political parties in framing their response.

The snap judgements on popular opinion often leave a lasting impression. It is still easy to find people who believe that most […]

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    Tony Travers on what to look out for in today’s local elections

Tony Travers on what to look out for in today’s local elections

Today, 3 May 2018, local elections are being held across England. Tony Travers assesses what is at stake for the main parties in this election, and what the key benchmarks for success will be in terms of local results and national equivalent vote share.

Local elections in many countries are used as a ‘real world’ test of public opinion in […]

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    Local elections give a voice to migrants – and this could be bad news for the Conservatives in London

Local elections give a voice to migrants – and this could be bad news for the Conservatives in London

About a quarter of the population in the median London ward was born in a Commonwealth or EU country. At the same time, there is a negative relationship between the share of these migrants in the population and levels of support for the Conservative party across London. Joachim Wehner explains the potential implications.

The Brexit referendum created deep uncertainty about the […]

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    What determines how much an MP spends on communicating with their constituents?

What determines how much an MP spends on communicating with their constituents?

Why do some MPs invest more in constituency communication than others? Using data from the Communications Allowance between 2007 and 2010, Katrin Auel and Resul Umit identify key incentives that explain this puzzle.

Everyone agrees that parliamentarians should keep in touch with the people they represent: constituents demand more of their representatives’ attention, while parties encourage their members to reach […]