Party politics and elections

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    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, […]

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    ‘Heirs apparent’ in No. 10 and beyond: why career ascendancy patterns matter

‘Heirs apparent’ in No. 10 and beyond: why career ascendancy patterns matter

In Westminster-style democracies, it is not uncommon for prime ministers to assume office by inheriting the post outside of a general election. Ludger Helms assesses the performance of prime ministers who were previously ‘heirs apparent’ and finds that their prior experience does not tend to lead to success.

Textbook accounts on political succession in parliamentary regimes usually centre on challengers […]

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    Confidence motions, humble addresses, and amendments: Brexit’s procedural dilemmas

Confidence motions, humble addresses, and amendments: Brexit’s procedural dilemmas

Brexit has revealed some of the tools that govern the legislative process and how these interact with party politics. Louise Thompson summarises the key procedural dilemmas faced in the Commons so far, and explains why things could get even more complicated in 2019.

As we watch the continued unfolding of the Brexit story and wait to see when (and if) […]

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 […]