Quick Search:

Analysing Long-Term Trends and Changes in the Party System at UK General Elections

Lockwood, Thomas James (2022) Analysing Long-Term Trends and Changes in the Party System at UK General Elections. Masters thesis, York St John University.

Text (MA by Research thesis)
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.

| Preview


The United Kingdom’s (UK) party system, at Westminster elections, had undergone substantial change between 1945 and the most recent election in 2019. This thesis proposes a detailed mapping out of this evolution, utilising volatility in the Effective Number of Parliamentary Parties (ENPP) at General Elections to indicate moments when changes took place. Doing so, the thesis rejects notions of linear, gradual changes within British politics. Instead, it finds that party system change in the UK can take place relatively rapidly and at-pace.. To demonstrate the contrasts between elections where the ENPP fluctuated greatly from the preceding election and those where it remained relatively static, six case studies are featured where these three of the most volatile data-points (2005, February 1974, 1997) and three of the least volatile data-points (2015, 1951, October 1974) are studied in-depth and contextualised to help us better understand key trends and changes in the national party system. The case-studies highlight three recurring variables which are discussed throughout the thesis: the pace of party system change, electoral and parliamentary disproportionality, and political realignments/dealignments between parties and voters, all three affecting volatility in the party system at Westminster to differing degrees.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Status: Published
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
School/Department: School of Humanities
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/7612

University Staff: Request a correction | RaY Editors: Update this record