• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The major UK parties have moved towards the centre of the political spectrum. Discuss.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Jayant Srivastava The major UK parties have moved towards the centre of the political spectrum. Discuss. The left-right spectrum is a political model used to identify the politics of individuals and parties. The two main parties in the UK are the Conservatives and the Labour Party and both are now regarded as centrist parties. But this has not always been in the case, and many policies within each party have changed in the recent years to a more centrist opinion from opposite sides of the spectrum. Firstly the Labour Party has moved from being a left-wing party to a much less radical centre party. Historically Labour has been a socialist (essentially centre-left; leaning more to the left) party, particularly regarding economic policies. Socialism is commonly defined as a common ideology of common ownership and this idea can be identified in Labour?s early history. For example embedded in the Labour Party constitution (clause four) ...read more.

Middle

This can be seen throughout the 20th Century as under moderate pragmatic leaders like Alec Douglas-Home and Edward Heath they ensured despite their preferences for conservative values they still appealed to the working classes. Indeed this continued under Margaret Thatcher; although her Conservative government was and is viewed as very traditional and did indeed have strong conservative elements (strong government and leadership, family values, patriotism, religion) the Thatcher era did introduce neo-liberal attitudes like free-marketism, individualism and minimal state intervention. Recent Conservative leaders like John Major and David Cameron can also be seen as being very liberal and very centrist in the majority of their views. For example- Cameron is socially liberal on issues ranging from gay rights, to equality and the rights of minority ethnic groups. These modern Tory views are sometimes viewed as the Conservative reaction to New Labour, in an attempt to ensure the Conservatives still appeal to the public and showcase the now majority liberal views. ...read more.

Conclusion

While the media and public like to sensationalize and stress the numbers of extremists and radicals, at the 2010 General Elections 90% of the electorate voted for centrist parties (Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats) which shows just how largely public opinion is based around centre politics. It also needs to be remembered that UK politics is not just about English politics, and the parties? currently holding most seats in the other Home Nations have also moved towards the centre. For example the SNP, like Labour have shifted towards the centre from previously being more socialist. Another example is in Northern Ireland, where despite remaining largely right-wing, the DUP have toned down some of their views towards the centre. In conclusion, it is a more than valid argument to suggest that the main parties have moved towards the centre of the political spectrum as many of their policies have become less extreme to capture a larger portion of the electorate. Perhaps the real question is how far have the major UK parties moved to the centre? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level United Kingdom section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level United Kingdom essays

  1. Discuss the changes in attitude towards Europe that have taken place within and between ...

    Whilst 2004 saw the single largest increase in members, with ten new states mostly from the former Soviet bloc. Even more recently, Bulgaria and Romania officially became members on the 1st of January 2007. The EU has also continued to amend its original treaties in an attempt to be more accessible, transparent and effective whilst introducing innovative policy.

  2. Government & Politics Revision Notes

    This ensures that the publics views and interests are properly and accurately adhered to and not distorted by politicians who claim to support them. * Political Education- By Widening the opportunities for political participation, and allowing debate to focus on a particular issue, referendums help to create a better informed, more educated and more politically engaged electorate.

  1. Political Parties

    They are committed to increase spending on public services, which is achieved by raising indirect taxes on goods such as petrol and cigarettes. Thus, the public sector is now consuming 42% of the nation's GDP, a massive increase from the Thatcher and Major years.

  2. What is the main reason for the loss of faith and interest in our ...

    Her proposal seems to be a good solution at first; however when I started to think about the answers that she'd given in more detail I began to wonder. If the scrutinizing of the acts is not with the view to change them, but just to see if they are working or not, then why do it at all?

  1. The Labour Party.

    The Key policies of the party: * To accept the pillars of the post war consensus i.e. the Welfare state. * The public ownership of certain industries. * Government intervention in economic affairs. * Partnership in industry between Trade unions and employers.

  2. Discuss the view that there should be more state funding for political ...

    In the same way as donations from wealthy individuals come with demands on party or candidate behaviour and can influence political decisions, the public can use state funds that they themselves pay to level the playing field and encourage (or force)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work