Party politics and elections

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    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 […]

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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 […]