Electing and Ejecting Party Leaders in Britain

Overview

The Conservative, Labour and the Liberal Democrats parties each allow their members to participate in the selection of the party leader, where previously this task was left to MPs. This book, now with a fully revised preface, examines the consequences of the shift to all-member ballots through a series of case studies of recent leadership contests. It presents a wealth of evidence to show that, when party members choose leaders, they normally use the same selection criteria that MPs use: acceptability, ...
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Electing and Ejecting Party Leaders in Britain

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Overview

The Conservative, Labour and the Liberal Democrats parties each allow their members to participate in the selection of the party leader, where previously this task was left to MPs. This book, now with a fully revised preface, examines the consequences of the shift to all-member ballots through a series of case studies of recent leadership contests. It presents a wealth of evidence to show that, when party members choose leaders, they normally use the same selection criteria that MPs use: acceptability, electability and competence. Democratisation of leadership selection has not led to the election of radical leaders, but has proved compatible with the parties' major goals of internal unity and a broad electoral appeal. The book also assesses the ways in which parties remove leaders who have outstayed their welcome. It shows that, although all the major parties have sought to make it harder to eject leaders, Labour leaders are offered the most protection by their party's eviction rules.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is an important and timely study of what has been a neglected topic in the literature. Public evaluations of party leaders play a really important role in influencing voting behaviour in Britain, and so it is important to understand why and how the parties select their leaders. This book makes a really interesting contribution to understanding that process." - Paul Whiteley, Professor of Government, University of Essex, UKand Co-director of the British Election Study

"More attention than ever in British politics is focused on party leaders. Drawing on a plethora of sources, Thomas Quinn provides a sophisticated and nuanced analysis as to how politicians are returbaned to party office, rejected, and replaced. Theoretically developed and empirically grounded, this book makes an outstanding and original contribution to our understanding of the internal life of British political parties." - Mark Wickham-Jones, Professor of Political Science, University of Bristol, UK

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781137516718
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 4/1/2015
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Quinn is Senior Lecturer in Government at the University of Essex. He has also taught at the London School of Economics. His previous book was Modernising the Labour Party: Organisational Change since 1983 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004).

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Electing and Ejecting Party Leaders
3. Selection and Ejection by the Parliamentary Party
4. The Labour Party: The Electoral College
5. The Conservative Party: Enfranchising the Members
6. The Liberal Democrats: One Member-One Vote
7. Electing and Ejecting Party Leaders: An Assessment
Appendix A: Labour Party Leadership Election Results 1955-2010
Appendix B: Conservative Party Leadership Election Results 1965-2005
Appendix C: Liberal Party, Social Democratic Party and Liberal Democrat Leadership Election Results 1967-2007
Leadership Election Rules and Results in the Minor Parties and Devolved Major Parties:
Appendix D: Green Party of England and Wales
Appendix E: United Kingdom Independence Party
Appendix F: British National Party
Appendix G: Scottish National Party
Appendix H: Plaid Cymru
Appendix I: Labour Party Leaders in Scotland and Wales
Appendix J: Conservative Party Leaders in Scotland and Wales
Appendix K: Liberal Democrat Leaders in Scotland and Wales
Appendix L: Donations to Candidates in Party Leadership Contests 2001-10
Appendix M: Proposed Labour Leadership Election Timetable 2009
Notes
Index

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