Political Parties

Richard Heffernan

in The Oxford Handbook of British Politics

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780199230952
Published online January 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

 Political Parties

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The three dominant British political parties, Labour, the Conservatives, and the Liberal Democrats, can trace their inheritance back to the latter part of the nineteenth century and beyond. British parties reflect the constitutional norms of parliamentary politics. The party leadership pre-eminence as modern organizational form is described in this article. It then discusses the members, money, and modes of campaigning. Politics more generally increasingly focuses on issues which transcend the age-old left-right spectrum within which politics was traditionally framed. British parties remain important to the working of representative democracy. The two major parties are granted extraordinary powers to direct public affairs.

Keywords: Labour; Conservatives; Liberal Democrats; party leadership; campaigning; parliamentary politics

Article.  9139 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; UK Politics

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