Rethinking the role of small parties in the UK's parliaments

Project Details


Opposition parties are a fundamental feature of parliamentary democracy in the UK. Without the existence of parties to oppose a governing party, there would be no accountability or scrutiny. At Westminster, this has traditionally manifested itself in the ‘Official’ Opposition party, the second largest party in the House of Commons. But the nature opposition politics in the UK is changing. As voters become disillusioned with the traditional political parties, smaller parties are becoming key actors.

This three year project aims to better understand the challenges facing small opposition parties in the British House of Commons, the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly and the contribution they make to parliamentary democracy. Drawing on large scale elite interviews, analysis of key parliamentary debates and documents, it aims to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the role and impact of these small parties, examining how each legislature accommodates them within its procedures and the consequences that this has for effective representation, accountability and scrutiny.
Short titleR:HSG Rethink Small Parties
Effective start/end date1/12/1830/11/21


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