The Conservatives and social policy in the devolved administrations

Richard Parry

in The Conservative Party and social policy

Published by Policy Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9781847424334
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303718 | DOI:
The Conservatives and social policy in the devolved administrations

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This chapter investigates the influence of devolution on the Conservatives and the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Under Nick Bourne, the Welsh Conservatives have been more prepared than their Scottish colleagues to transform their previous opposition to devolution into support for greater powers on the grounds of clarity and accountability. In both Scotland and Wales, with political weakness came the loss of a power base in local government. The basic dilemma of Scottish and Welsh Conservatives recurs in social policy. Conservatives and the politics of the devolved budgetary process are described. Whether Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland offer a distinctive approach to Conservative social policy is much more problematic. There is no evidence of any distinctive manifesto positioning by the parties in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Conservatives in these three nations have been in a historic fight for survival.

Keywords: Welsh Conservatives; Scottish Conservatives; Irish Conservatives; Conservative social policy; devolved administrations; devolution

Chapter.  7844 words. 

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