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About this Lecture
In this module, we consider the (potential, ongoing) impact of Brexit on inter- and intra-party dynamics in the United Kingdom, focusing in particular on: (i) Brexit as an issue that does not map neatly onto traditional party lines, leading to the creation of breakaway parties (e.g. The Brexit Party) and independent MPs; (ii) the reduction in the two-party share of the vote and rise in ENEP; (iii) the increase in the number of defeats suffered by the government; (iv) the longer-term impact of Brexit in 2020 and beyond; (v) the potential for smaller parties to emerge as ‘kingmakers’; (vi) the potential for the UK to move towards the grand coalition politics of Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, etc.; and (vii) how this trend might interact with the increasing polarisation of British politics.
In this course, Professor Paul Webb (University of Sussex) explores the operation and dynamics of the party system – or should that be party systems? – in British politics. In the first module, we introduce the idea of a party system, exploring what the term means and the different levels at which parties operate in the UK. After that, in the second module, we think about the positioning of parties of the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In the third module, we think about the party system in Westminster and how it has evolved in the post-war period, before turning in the fourth module to the question of how we might measure the extent to which a political system is truly ‘multi-party’. In the fifth module, we think about whether the General Election of 2017 should be seen as a return to two-party politics, before turning in the sixth module to consider how the issue of Brexit has had an impact on both inter- and intra-party politics.
Paul Webb is Professor of Politics at the University of Sussex, and has held a number of previous and visiting positions in Britain and abroad, including at the Australian National University (Canberra) and Nihon University (Tokyo). His research interests focus on representative democracy, particularly party and electoral p politics. His recent publications include (with Tim Bale and Monica Poletti) Footsoldiers: Party Members in the 21st Century (2019) and (with Susan Scarrow and Thomas Poguntke) Organizing Political Parties: Representation, Participation and Power (2017).
Cite this Lecture
Webb, P. (2020, February 20). The Party System in the United Kingdom - Brexit [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/the-party-system-in-the-united-kingdom/brexit-193ffb0b-889d-4ddb-8d04-20e0b922e010
Webb, P. "The Party System in the United Kingdom – Brexit." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 20 Feb 2020, https://massolit.io/courses/the-party-system-in-the-united-kingdom/brexit-193ffb0b-889d-4ddb-8d04-20e0b922e010