The Nature and Functions of Political Parties and Voting Behaviour in Britain

The Nature and Functions of Political Parties and Voting Behaviour in Britain

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The Nature and Functions of Political Parties and Voting Behaviour in Britain


The two major parties in the British political system, the Labour
party and the Conservative party, often mention the same issues of
importance but have different policies on how these issues should be
handled. Both parties state in their manifestoes that Education is an
important issue - Labour sighting it a major priority, aiming to cut
class sizes for 5-7 year olds to under 30 and to modernise
comprehensive schools and provide funding for the implication of new
technologies. The Conservative's aims for the improvement of education
is to implement more regular testing in schools and for a more
rigorous system of appraising teachers abilities. The National Health
Service is also a priority for both parties, each wishing to increase
spending, Labour intending to do so more and more each year. Labour
also plans to cut the time on waiting lists for major surgeries and
introduce a food standards agency in HNS hospitals, whereas the
Conservative major policy is to increase the number of doctors and
nurses. Another important issue for both policies is that of the Euro
and the proposed single European Currency. Labour are (despite
in-party conflicts) in favour of Britain adopting the Euro, but it is
their policy to hold a Nation referendum on the matter when they
believe 'five key economic tests' have been passed. Conservatives, on
the other hand, are (in the main), against the UK joining the single
European currency, Conservatives being more traditionally
'Euro-sceptics', and their current policy is to keep the pound.

Question 2: Explain the functions of poli...


... middle of paper ...


...for labour. Also, as the Prime Ministers role becomes
more 'presidential' in style, the actions of the Prime Minister
himself can shape voting - being seen in 'the right place' or doing
'the right thing' can be enough to win extra votes. Similarly, the
success of the existing Prime Minister/government can be enough to win
more supporters. If it seems that policy promises have been kept, and
that the country is in a period of prosperity and has benefited from
the leading parties rule, those who may not have voted for them before
will be persuaded to change allegiance in light of their success. With
this in mind, it is also the case that if a government have been seen
to handle a main issue well (war, for example) this can result in a
similarly persuasive effect, encouraging voters to 'stick with' the
ruling party.



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