Timothy Heppell
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Managing political dimensions
The rise of multi-party politics
in Cameron
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The aim of chapter 7 is to consider how Cameron responded to the challenges to the existing political order. Focusing in on the rise of multi-party politics, the chapter identifies how the increasing electoral support for the Liberal Democrats, the Scottish National Party and UKIP threatened the existing dimensionality through which British politics operated. The chapter considers the reasons why Cameron decided to offer a referendum on electoral reform and explains why he was successful at nullifying this threat. The chapter examines why Cameron was forced to offer a referendum on Scottish independence, and explores how it failed to quell the tide of Scottish nationalism, but it did create an electoral advantage for the Conservatives given the collapse of Scottish Labour. The third case study of the chapter identifies why Cameron had to offer a referendum on continued membership of the European Union. The chapter focuses in on how the electoral threat from UKIP, and the infighting within his own parliamentary ranks, could have been overcome with a comfortable remain vote. The reason why Cameron failed is attributed to the weakness of the renegotiated terms of membership, and his misplaced assumption that economic security would trump concerns about immigration.

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The politics of modernisation and manipulation


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