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"The UK is a two party system" - does this comment still apply today?

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  • Essay length: 920 words
  • Submitted: 18/08/2003
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GCSE Politics

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"The UK is a two party system" - does this comment still apply today?

It has often been said that the United Kingdom possesses a two party political system. However, any balanced argument on this issue must take into account both the differing perspectives from which this subject can be viewed and the time period which is being evaluated. The two party theory is not universally accepted and many people argue that the UK can best be described as a multi party, dominant party or even a two and a half or three party system, depending on how the subject is approached.

The most commonly held view is that Britain is a two party system. This is confirmed by the period 1945-79, when power tended to alternate frequently between the Labour and Conservative parties. However, during this period, Labour won power twice with a majority of less than twenty seats, resulting in a near hung parliament. This tends to weaken the idea that the electoral pendulum has swung evenly for both parties. It is important to consider the period of time looked when attempting to identify which system best describes Britain's and this becomes particularly important when

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