A critical election?
in Breaking the deadlock
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This chapter steps back from the chaos of recent British electoral politics to locate the 2019 general election in a wider comparative context. It shows how many of the economic, social and political changes that led to Brexit were by no means exceptional. Deindustrialisation, ageing populations, the underemployment of young people, the rising cost of housing and climate change have affected a wide range of societies. New conflicts have placed strains on existing party systems, and parties across the globe have adapted with varying degrees of success. Nevertheless, the UK’s unique constitutional arrangements and party system continue to make its electoral politics so distinctive. The chapter ends by considering the particular risk of democratic backsliding in a system that has weak checks and balances.

Breaking the deadlock

Britain at the polls, 2019


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