Party politics and elections

Are there any benefits to divided parliamentary parties?

Intra-party dissent is generally considered a bad thing – for parties seeking power and for voters wishing to make sense of political conflicts. However, using a survey experiment to test people’s responses to different forms of intra-party policy disputes, Eric Merkley finds that there are circumstances in which voters find moderate divisions useful as cues for evaluating policy choices […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Multi-party governance: behind the scenes of the Conservative–Liberal Democrat Coalition

Multi-party governance: behind the scenes of the Conservative–Liberal Democrat Coalition

The UK’s Coalition government of 2010–15 was established with an array of formal agreements and rules for cooperation. However, finds Felicity Matthews, the informal norms and micro-level practices of individual relationships were critical to its operation. This opens up a new area in research, which focuses on the detailed practices of multi-party governance. 

The formation of coalition government has been […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    The end of the old order? From left-right to open-closed politics

The end of the old order? From left-right to open-closed politics

Jonathan Wheatley explains the shifting positions of voters on economic matters and matters of culture. He writes that between 2015 and 2017 support for Britain’s main parties became much more predicated on issues of culture and identity, reflecting a radical change in how parties attract voters. This shift may lead to a restructuring of the UK party system and […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    The role and relevance of election petitions in challenging UK election results

The role and relevance of election petitions in challenging UK election results

Until recently, widespread confidence about the integrity of UK elections meant that almost no information was available about election petitions, the only mechanism through which a result can be challenged. Stuart Wilks-Heeg and Caroline Morris present significant new data about petitions from 1900 to 2016.

Beyond a few specialist election lawyers, knowledge of election petitions is rare. In its current […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Labour’s political calculations: explaining the party’s muddled policy on Brexit

Labour’s political calculations: explaining the party’s muddled policy on Brexit

Why is Jeremy Corbyn ignoring calls for a second referendum, despite these being backed by a substantial part of his party’s membership, as well as by non-members? Eric Shaw explains the factors affecting Labour’s inability to agree on a clear and feasible Brexit policy, and warns that inevitably divisive decisions will have to be taken.

The Labour Party’s stance on […]

Why lobbying in Brussels is not always an obscure activity

Lobbying in Brussels is often envisioned as an activity that takes place behind closed doors, away from the spotlight of public scrutiny. Yet at the same time, some lobbyists intentionally seek media attention to win their policy battles. Drawing on a recent study, Iskander De Bruycker explains that media attention can help EU lobbyists attain their policy objectives, but […]

Method to madness: political science in 2018

Why has British politics been at a seemingly endless deadlock since 2015? Artemis Photiadou brings together the most salient strands of political science research that have attempted to explain electoral preferences, post-Brexit realities, and party politics in 2018.

Britain is undergoing a period of contradiction and impasse. As it attempts to ‘take back control’ of its governance and move away […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    What party competition in England will look like after European Parliament elections end

What party competition in England will look like after European Parliament elections end

European Parliament elections may not have been popular, but they used proportional representation – something which England’s national elections lack. Heinz Brandenburg looks at what this means for smaller parties, which have a hard time making headway under the first-past-the-post system.
One of the few certainties about Brexit is that the UK will cease to participate in European Parliament elections. To many, […]