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

To what extent does the Prime Minister dominate the political system in the UK?

Extracts from this document...


To what extent does the Prime Minister dominate the political system in the UK? The prime minister usually commands a majority of MPs in the House of Commons. It is usually argued that the bigger the majority, the greater the power. A good example of this is Tony Blair who despite numerous backbench revolts didn't suffer a single Commons defeat between 1997-2005. Therefore this shows that if you have a large majority than you are more likely to be dominant than if you have a small one, like John Major did. The royal prerogative is another reason as to why Prime Ministers may be dominant. These are powers traditionally used by the monarch, but as time has moved on these powers have been effectively moved into the prime ministers hands. Officially it is meant to be the monarch that decides when a general election should be held, but practically it is the prime minister who now decides. ...read more.


Personality also plays a key role as to how much the prime minister is able to dominate the political system. Since media play a vital role in influencing a large part of the General public, it is vital that the prime minister has good relations with them. Tony Blair was good at this and in both the 1997 and 2001 election his face appeared prominently in the campaigns, which worked well due to his good public image. If a prime minister has a good personality then he would be a force to be reckoned with within the office when coupled with the things mentioned above. This was the reason why Gordon Brown arguably wasn't very successful as he didn't project a good image to the public. However there are constraints that don't allow the prime minister to dominate entirely. These would involve factors that allow appointments to be affected. ...read more.


This was certainly the case in John Majors reign where he ruled with a small majority. Another constraint is that the loyalty of the party cannot always be relied upon. Thatcher led a divided party in 1990, and eventually the cabinet forced her out during a leadership contest. More recently Tony Blair faced hostility from within his own party, particularly after the Iraq War. His final few months within government were characterised by a backbench dissent, which is both a good example of loyalty being betrayed and the power of the backbench MPs when they come together. In concluding, I believe that whilst the Prime Minister is a very dominant force with the political system, but there are constraints that stop him being completely dominant. The best example of this is Tony Blair, who despite winning three general elections for his party and having a decent majority in the 2005 election, he was still pushed out by backbench MPs. By Samuel Lane. ?? ?? ?? ?? Samuel Lane Politics Mr Hannah ...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. To what extent does the prime minister dominate the UK political system?

    This plays into the hands of the PM, with the ability to place his allies in the cabinet and eliminate opponents the PM has a dominant role in the UK political spectrum. The Prime Minister also has a dominant role in controlling Government business, using the fact they chair, set

  2. How Dominant Is the Prime Minister within the British system of Government?

    Since the 1970s, prime ministers have increased their extent of travel and gatherings with foreign heads of government. There are numerous customary engagements per year such as the G7, UN, and around four European Councils and several less common normal events like the biannual Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings, plus

  1. To What Extent Does The British Prime Minister Dominate The Political System In The ...

    Reid was appointed under ability rather than experience. Similar movements within ministers and cabinet can be seen in Thatcher years, as she removed the "wet" one nation conservatives to be replaced by "dry" Thatcherites. Gordon Brown, on becoming PM in June '07 carried out the largest cabinet re-shuffle in over

  2. How and why has the role of the prime minister changed over the post-1945 ...

    As such prime ministers can no longer implement one dimensional public policy and instead face the difficulty of trying to appeal to a massively diverse electorate. Since 1945 Britain's place in the world, and as such the prime minister's global role has changed dramatically.

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

    some facts and figures from past investigations which will hopefully demonstrate the change in public opinion. We will also look at possible causes of the change in more detail including recent events that have taken place, controversial legislation which has been passed, and any other confounding factors which may be responsible for the recessive view of government and politics today.

  2. To what extent has the French political system become less 'Presidential' in character since ...

    It is the President whose job it is to protect the liberty of the citizens and this centralises his figure in French politics. The French military is still one of the world's major forces. The head of state is commanding an internationally renowned force.

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