Did the 2019 election change the structure of England and Wales’ party system?

24 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2022

Date Written: 26 12, 2021


This article uses Chapel Hill and BES data to outline evidence that indicates the structure of the English and Welsh party system has changed. The results of this paper show this party system has become more polarised and rewards centrifugal positions, especially along the cultural liberal/conservative divide. The Conservative Party in particular has been rewarded by this change in the party system structure. Another key finding shows that the Labour 2017 voting base fragmented due to this new divide, which also shows centre-ground positions on this new divide are punished. This paper also has important implications upon British political developments, such as highlighting how the structure of the new party system may create Conservative Party dominance. Moreover, it shows Labour has vast strategical challenges under this new party structure and that it may have to develop clearer stances away from the centre to improve its performance under this new system.

Keywords: party system, realignment, British politics, manifesto, Labour Party, Conservative Party, British Election Study

Suggested Citation

Prentice, James, Did the 2019 election change the structure of England and Wales’ party system? (26 12, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4062648 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4062648

James Prentice (Contact Author)

University of Sussex ( email )

Sussex House
Brighton, Sussex BNI 9RH
United Kingdom

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