Are Poliltical Parties in Decline?

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The debate is often made that politics is rapidly becoming unpopular, unattractive and is ultimately shown to be out of favour with the masses, and this can be said to be reflected upon, and arguably due to, the traditional political parties in Great Britain. In order to receive a clearer picture of this shift in the political landscape the previously less mainstream parties must be entered into the discourse, and the changing behaviour of the voters in response to such movements must also be addressed. The case will be argued that the decline in traditional parties such as Labour and the Conservatives has some link to the rise of the UK Independence Party (Ukip) and the Respect party. The concept of the traditional parties and their failings to satisfy the electorate's demands for a fairer society and a substantially more stable economy is similarly important when inspecting the accelerated decline in support of the main parties. The works of academics contrast greatly in opinion on the decline of traditional parties, with many arguing that the change in the political landscape is only natural, and with many opposing this view point (and condemning the shift and the fall in political participation). In recent years Great Britain has seen a rapid change in the participation in British General elections and has witnessed the stagnation of British voting behaviour in European elections. Statistics show that there has been nearly a 10% decrease in turnout for general elections since 1997; the electorate turnout in 1997 stood at 71.4% with the first election of Tony Blair. (UK Political Info). In 2001 the turnout hit a a major low at just 59.4% (the lowest recorded since 1918). From this point onwards the decrease in turnout re... ... middle of paper ... ... fallen out of favour with the people. It has been demonstrated that the fall in support for traditional parties has not had any negative impact on the previously smaller parties. Membership statistics also indicate the rapid decline in traditional parties, again highlighting that the electorate's demands may be better addressed in other ways. A more clarified picture now remains of the political landscape in relation to the terminal decline of traditional parties, and as to the British political system as a whole. Many points can be taken from this, but the one thing that should be noted is that the decline of the traditional parties may not be such an issue as previously presumed. This may be the people asking for change, thus in order to gain the support they once had, the traditional parties must begin to take note, or else face many unprosperous years ahead.

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