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

To what extent do leaders dominate their parties?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent do leaders dominate their parties? Labour leaders have traditionally been less powerful than conservative leaders as they have less often been in power. Labour leaders are bound by conference decisions and are constrained by the National Executive Committee between conferences and have not always enjoyed a majority on the National executive Committee. They don't control the appointment of their own deputy; who is separately elected and they can't even choose their own shadow cabinet, which is formed, from a Parliamentary committee elected by a vote by the Parliamentary Labour Party. However Labour leaders often have power over their parties and can ignore conference decisions. When the Labour leader is Prime Minister, they enjoy all considerable constitutional powers associated with it and have as much authority as the Conservative Prime Minister would have. It is more difficult to challenge a Labour leader and there has only been one challenge in the last twenty years and it was unsuccessful. Whereas since 1975 there have been four challenges to a Conservative leader and two of which were successful. The expense and complexity of Labour's Electoral College makes challenging a leader unappealing, as it is a difficult process to use in electing a new leader. ...read more.

Middle

Because rebellions have little effect on Blair due to his, majority, he can dominate his party because MPs know they will have little effect if they do rebel. When the Major government was in power, we could see that major had less dominance over his party as he had more pressure to please his MPs because rebellions would affect him worse than they would Blair. Leaders can dominate their party with the use of party whips, who maintain discipline through threats and bribes. This dissuades MPs from rebellions as they risk losing job perks. In some cases backbench MPs have a say over leadership as the leader can tend to change policy to prevent rebellions for example when Wilson backed down from Trade Union reform because the chief whip had said he couldn't get it through the parliamentary party. Conferences have some effect on the power of the leadership as the leader's decisions can be affected by the strong expressions of opinion that can influence them e.g. Conservative leader persuaded to introduce Poll tax immediately rather that phase it in gradually. ...read more.

Conclusion

Due to the increase in internal democracy through allowing ordinary members to have a say in thing, it seems that the leaders have become less dominant of their parties but however; this "Plebiscitary democracy" has actually increased the dominance of the leader as it is likely that the ordinary members are more likely to support the leader than activists due to media focus presenting leaders in an attractive way for example Tony Blair viewed as a Christian family man. Dominance can be dominated by external factors like publicity and electoral success, as with little public support, leaders are unlikely to maintain full party support, as they seem less valuable. Overall, the Conservative leaders have more dominance over their parties than Labour leaders as they have dominance over important areas like policy making even though they seen to have less mandate as they can emerge without proper support from party members and can be challenge more easily. There is an existence of Oligarchy in the current system but the leaders still have to ensure that they please a certain number of people in order to retain their dominant role e.g. Thatcher who had a large amount of member support but was challenged by other MPs and was successfully removed from power; losing her role altogether. Siobhan Kiely February 2004 ...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. priministers power

    GCHQ, (Government Communications Headquarters), the 'poll tax', opting-out schools, industrial relations legislation, the environment, football hooliganism; * Use of PM's Policy Unit to promote policies and follow up initiatives; also, extensive reliance on special advisers, outside advice from right-wing think-tanks such as the Adam Smith Institute, the Centre for Policy

  2. To what extent does the prime minister dominate the UK political system?

    These advisors are not civil servants; they are personally employed by the PM. They are also despised by ministers who believe that the PM should ask them for advice. However if the PM asks his minister and an advisor for an opinion, he will likely get two differing opinions as the advisors often give conflicting advice.

  1. The Labour Party.

    in January 1957; Harold Macmillan, Prime Minister and Conservative leader from 1957 until November 1963; and R.A. Butler. Butler twice seemed on the brink of becoming leader and Prime Minister, but in 1963 Macmillan was instead unexpectedly succeeded by Sir Alec Douglas-Home.

  2. Political Parties

    Furthermore, they propose a 50% top rate income tax on those earning above �100,000 a year, in order to fund their ambitious spending programme. On policies concerning healthcare, there is a cross-party consensus that an NHS system funded completely by the taxpayer is the best healthcare system for this country to adopt.

  1. Using the example of a single selected political leader, explore the potential of the ...

    Thatcher's sex combined with her middle class status and the way she was treated because of these directly affected her approach to politics and the political style she would later adopt when she achieved power. Thatcher's first attempt at entering Parliament in 1950 failed It would take another nine years

  2. To what extent have the ideas and the policies of the Conservative and the ...

    Cameron?s leadership from the start has been seen as a shift to the left, he has appealed to the centre just as Blair had done and the two could be seen to be closer than ever; two parties fighting for the centre.

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