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To What Extent Is the Uk a Two Party System

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To what extent is the UK a two party system (25 marks)

It is often argued that in the UK we have a two party system this is a system where two major political parties dominate politics within a government. One of the two parties typically holds a majority in the legislature and is usually referred to, as the majority party while the other is the minority party. Traditionally in the UK this is the Conservatives and the Labour party. However, as politics and society evolves it seems that the UK is moving away from these ideas

In the period 1945–70, the UK provided a textbook example of a two-party system. The Conservatives and Labour won a clear majority of votes cast in general elections and secured all but a handful of seats in the House of Commons. Together they averaged 91% of the vote in the eight general elections held in this period and 98% of seats. The two parties were closely matched in the popular vote, had nationwide support, and held office for equivalent periods. Originally the Labour Party is have said to represent the working mans party while the conservative party was more about preserving the traditional values of the UK’s society. The fact that there was a two party system suggests that there was strong party alignment; electors voted for the party that represented the interests of their social class.

The devolution of power is a strong argument that suggests the UK is no longer a two party system. In 1998, devolution took place through the creation of a Scottish Parliament, a Welsh Assembly and a Northern Ireland Assembly. Devolution has made nationalist parties more prominent. This means that although they may still be minor parties in Westminster, they are major parties in their part of the UK. So, for example the main contenders for the Scottish by-election were the Scottish National Party and Labour, so although it shows a two party…...

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