Explanations of working-class politics in Australia and Britain have traditionally been heavily rooted in domestic 'bread and butter', socio-economic factors, including the much-debated issue of social class. 'Traditional' and 'revisionist' accounts have greatly advanced our knowledge and understanding of labour movements in general and labour politics in particular. This book offers a pathbreaking comparative and trans-national study of the neglected influences of nation, empire and race. The study is about the development and electoral fortunes of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and the British Labour Party (BLP) from their formative years of the 1900s to the elections of 2010. Based upon extensive primary and secondary source-based research in Britain and Australia over several years, the book makes a new and original contribution to the fields of labour, imperial and 'British world' history. It offers the challenging conclusion that the forces of nation, empire and race exerted much greater influence upon Labour politics in both countries than suggested by 'traditionalists' and 'revisionists' alike. Labour sought a more democratic, open and just society, but, unlike the ALP, it was not a serious contender for political and social power. In both countries, the importance attached to the politics of loyalism is partly related to questions of place and space. In both Australia and Britain the essential strength of the emergent Labour parties was rooted in the trade unions. The book also presents three core arguments concerning the influences of nation, empire, race and class upon Labour's electoral performance.
the Welsh Conservatives appear to have staged
a recovery since 1997, the Scottish Conservatives have been much less successful.
It has also become accepted wisdom in the Scottish Conservative Party that it has
The territorial Conservative Party
Table 1.1 Conservative Party electoralperformance in
Scotland and Wales, 1999–2011
Members of the
Members of the
Source: Rallings and Thrasher (2009); National Assembly for Wales
(2011); Scottish Parliament (2013).
wider focus upon a combination of political, economic, social and
cultural factors is adopted.
The electoral record
Labour’s record of electoralperformance
between 1900 and the present day may usefully be broken down into four chronological
periods: from 1900 to the time of
World War One; from 1917 in Australia and 1918 in Britain to 1939; from the era of World War
Two to the late 1970s; and from the latter to the present.
Between 1901 and 2006 the BLP enjoyed national
David J. Bailey, Jean-Michel De Waele, Fabien Escalona and Mathieu Vieira
normatively and strategically. The contributors to the present volume each contribute to these ongoing debates, especially in their empirical assessment of social
democratic parties’ response thus far to the crisis, and the implications this has
for social democratic and broader left strategy for the future.
Social democracy during the global economic crisis
In terms of evaluating the social democratic response to the GEC, there are
perhaps three (interrelated) dimensions that demand our attention: electoralperformance, programmatic change, and the
Independents’ electoral history
Independents have been a constant feature of the Irish electoral landscape. They have maintained a continuous presence in the Dáil right
back to the 1922 elections, the first in the Irish Free State.1 This is in
contrast to their electoralperformance in other established democracies, where independent candidates struggle to win votes, let alone
seats. At the same time, independents’ success rates in Ireland have
not been consistent, as sometimes (particularly in the 1960s and
1970s) their representation dipped to
1964 and 1970. The 1970s saw victories for both the
Conservatives and Labour.
I explain Labour’s poor overall electoralperformance in Australia
and its more mixed record in Britain in terms of a combination of ‘traditional’,
‘revisionist’, neglected and new factors. These include trends in living
standards, economic management, internal party unity and disunity, progressive nationalism
and loyalty to nation and Commonwealth. I maintain that Labour in both countries fared best
at the polls when it successfully
, parliamentary party and voluntary party in the Hague
period. Chapters 6–10 focus on Conservative policy and ideology; Chapter
11 examines the party’s electoralperformance after 1997. Three Commentary
pieces by leading Conservatives then draw differing conclusions about the
1997–2001 period, before the editors offer some conclusions.
It is a traditional article of faith for conservatives that the past can provide
valuable lessons. In his chapter, Stuart Ball provides a comparative analysis
of previous periods when the Conservative Party was in opposition. His
independent presence. The importance of the institutional setting indicates the rational
nature to independents’ emergence in Irish party democracy. Because
there is a particular set of rules in place, it caters for the expression of
a political culture that is conducive to independents. The aim of this
chapter is to examine this interaction of institutional features of the
voting system and independents’ electoralperformance, not only in
Independents and the electoral system
Ireland, but also on a comparative level. This dimension is necessary
because there is not
dynamics. The third section will focus on the electoralperformance of the French left during the crisis period, using an analysis based on economic voting theory. The fourth section investigates developments on the ideological right–left scale and on EU issues, working with data from the Manifesto project and analysing the manifestos from the 2017 elections.
United we stand, divided we fall
The French left is composed of a myriad of political parties. Its great ideological heterogeneity very often results in divisiveness and a
traditional bipolar format of
French politics. It will then move on to analyse the historical and political
factors underlying the split, the electoralperformances of the two parties
that emerged from this critical breakdown and the key features of party
ideology within the extreme, right pole. Third, it will address the electoral
prospects of the FN and MNR in the light of their results in the
presidential and legislative elections of spring 2002.
Extreme-right politics and party system change in the mid-1990s
A glance at the results of elections over the past fifteen