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Introduction
What are Parties for
How Parties have Adapted to Change - Cadre Party
How Parties Have Adapted to Change - The Mass Membership Party
How Parties Have Adapted to Change - The Catch-All Party
How Parties Have Adapted to Change - The Cartel Party
Describing Party Systems
Theories of Party Systems -The Frozen Party System
Theories of Party Systems - The Downs Model
Theories of Party Systems - Satori
The New Party System
How do voters decide who to vote for
How do voters decide who to vote for - The Michigan Studies
How do voters decide who to vote for - Social Class
How do voters decide who to vote for - Partisan Dealignment
Issue Voting
Single Member Constituencies
Electoral Bias
Electoral Geography of Great Britain
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Conservatives
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Labour
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Liberals
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Plaid Cymru
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - SNP
Electoral Geography in Great Britain - UKIP
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Green Party
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Respect
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - BNP
General Election Campaign - Choosing the Date
General Election Campaign
General Election Campaign - The Media
General Election Campaigns - Three types of Media
General Election Campaigns - Opinion Polls
General Election Campaigns - turn-out
Why did people vote the way they did - Social Class
Why did people vote the way they did - Housing Tenure
Why did people vote the way they did - Age
Why did people vote the way they did - Gender
Why did people vote the way they did - Ethnicity
The result and government formation
Introduction
What are Parties for
How Parties have Adapted to Change - Cadre Party
How Parties Have Adapted to Change - The Mass Membership Party
How Parties Have Adapted to Change - The Catch-All Party
How Parties Have Adapted to Change - The Cartel Party
Describing Party Systems
Theories of Party Systems -The Frozen Party System
Theories of Party Systems - The Downs Model
Theories of Party Systems - Satori
The New Party System
How do voters decide who to vote for
How do voters decide who to vote for - The Michigan Studies
How do voters decide who to vote for - Social Class
How do voters decide who to vote for - Partisan Dealignment
Issue Voting
Single Member Constituencies
Electoral Bias
Electoral Geography of Great Britain
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Conservatives
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Labour
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Liberals
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Plaid Cymru
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - SNP
Electoral Geography in Great Britain - UKIP
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Green Party
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Respect
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - BNP
General Election Campaign - Choosing the Date
General Election Campaign
General Election Campaign - The Media
General Election Campaigns - Three types of Media
General Election Campaigns - Opinion Polls
General Election Campaigns - turn-out
Why did people vote the way they did - Social Class
Why did people vote the way they did - Housing Tenure
Why did people vote the way they did - Age
Why did people vote the way they did - Gender
Why did people vote the way they did - Ethnicity
The result and government formation
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University 18 Yrs + | Parties and Voting

The UK General Election Campaign

Choosing the Date

The date of the General Election has traditionally been chosen by the Prime Minister under the Royal Prerogative. 

Although cabinet members and close advisers were consulted, it was always very much the personal decision of the PM and almost no one else would know until it was announced.

Sometimes PMs knew pretty much that they would win as with Thatcher in 1983 and Blair in 2001 and Eden in 1955 and the preference was for a summer election after four years. 

The two Prime Minister that kept going for the full five years, Douglas Home and Major, both lost.  

Sometimes Prime Ministers probably got it wrong as with Callaghan, who might well have won in 1978 before industrial disputes affected the Government’s popularity the following winter, and Gordon Brown, who probably would have won if he had called an election soon after he succeeded Blair in 2007 and before the economic crisis.

Fixed Term Parliaments

The Fixed Term Parliaments Act, 2011 removed the PM’s right to call the election so that the next election would be 7 May 2015 as long as the Coalition did not collapse and Labour and the Liberal Democrats combine to win a vote of no confidence in Parliament. The one after that will be 2020 and so on.

The Act provides for elections every five years, whereas they have more often been every four or less and most other European countries have four.

It is possible, in the future, that a Prime Minister will be able to engineer a vote of no confidence to call an earlier election and the Queen no longer has the power, though whether it would ever have been used is in question, to refuse a dissolution.

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