Party politics and elections

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    Losing the ‘Europeanisation’ meta-narrative for modernising British democracy

Losing the ‘Europeanisation’ meta-narrative for modernising British democracy

Contrary to claims of Britain’s enduring political and constitutional distinctiveness, in the period from 1997 to 2016 the UK in fact modernised its polity by following several strong ‘Europeanisation’ trends. British democracy came to increasingly resemble other European liberal democracies in some fundamental ways. Yet now this meta-narrative may be lost following Brexit. Patrick Dunleavy explores some implications of […]

Should Labour worry about Trotskyists in the Party?

John Kelly explains the development, resilience and influence of Trotskyist groups within the Labour Party. He concludes that the movement has fared badly in recent years, despite a decade of austerity and growing inequality, issues that might have been expected to stimulate left radicalism.

Press coverage of the contemporary Labour Party and of Momentum has often implied, and occasionally asserted, […]

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    Thermostatic public opinion: why UK anti-immigrant sentiments rise and then fall

Thermostatic public opinion: why UK anti-immigrant sentiments rise and then fall

Contrary to popular narratives, there has been a collapse in anti-immigrant hostility in Britain, evident since the run up to the 2016 referendum. Patrick English explains how the success of the BNP and UKIP may have caused this fall and argues that recent changes may be seen as confirming the ‘thermostatic’ character of British public opinion.

The Britain of today, […]

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    Campaigning online and offline: the significance of local and national contexts

Campaigning online and offline: the significance of local and national contexts

Paul Webb addresses the question of what members do for their parties during campaigns, and explains why there is value in considering the impact of national and local contexts. He writes that whereas the former enhances online participation by members, the latter considerably improves the model of offline participation.

When it comes to election campaigning, boots on the ground can […]

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    When people decide whether to write to their MP, does the MP’s gender matter?

When people decide whether to write to their MP, does the MP’s gender matter?

Alex Parsons and Rebecca Rumbul explain that although women are more likely than expected to write to female MPs, this does not mean that they are making that decision purely based on gender; rather it may be because certain topics that are more important to them are also ones that female MPs have developed an interest in.

WriteToThem, a mySociety […]

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    Who won Britain’s culture wars? The urban left’s mixed success

Who won Britain’s culture wars? The urban left’s mixed success

Although often ridiculed in the 1980s, the left’s social policies were on the winning side when it came to gender, sexuality, and environmentalism, writes James Curran. However, the same cannot be said for their politics of race, and certainly not for their economic policies.

During the 1980s, the urban left was rendered toxic. It was reviled by the press, demonised […]

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    Do universities liberalise students? Why education should be taken seriously in political analysis

Do universities liberalise students? Why education should be taken seriously in political analysis

What are the connections between education and political behaviour? Paula Surridge explains why there may be something specific about the experience of higher education which produces more liberal values, regardless of the subject of study. She writes that a fruitful line of enquiry for political scientists will be to seek a deeper understanding of the connections between education and […]

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    The political consequences of antisemitism? The party preferences of Britain’s Jews

The political consequences of antisemitism? The party preferences of Britain’s Jews

What are the views of British Jews towards Labour and its leader, given the party’s continuous association with antisemitism, particularly in recent years? Andrew Barclay finds that, rather unsurprisingly, there is now homogeneity of Conservative support within this group of voters, all at Labour’s cost.

One of the more unexpected developments in British politics since 2015 has been the return […]