Did Labour's landslide victory in 1997 mark a critical watershed in British party politics? Did the radical break with 18 years of Conservative rule reflect a fundamental change in the social and ideological basis of British voting behaviour? Critical Elections brings together leading scholars of parties, elections and voting behaviour to provide the first systematic overview of long-term change in British electoral politics.

New Politicians? Changes in Party Competition at Westminster

New politicians? Changes in party competition at westminster

The classification used in this book suggests that elections fall into a number of distinct types and each of these can be applied to the level of parliamentary élites as well as to the electorate. In maintaining elections there is minimal change in the established pattern of party competition in Parliament, with politicians displaying considerable continuity over time. In deviating elections, in a model of ‘impulse-decay’, there is a temporary shift in the pattern of parliamentary politics and the balance of power in government which fails to maintain itself in subsequent contests. Secular realignments among politicians are characterized by a long-term and gradual evolution of parliamentary culture, for example with ...

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