18 episodes

This resource is designed for those studying the 2015 General Election. It will also be of interest to those who are following the election and want to know more about the UK’s political system.

Delivered by a range of renowned experts, it will deepen your understanding of the election, as well as acting as an engaging revision tool for anyone studying British politics.

You will learn about key challenges to the existing political system, such as the emergence of parties like UKIP and the Greens, the impact of devolution, and the growing disconnect between voters and politicians. You will find out more about the UK’s electoral system and the role of parties and political leaders.

Election 2015: is British democracy broken? University of Leeds

    • News

This resource is designed for those studying the 2015 General Election. It will also be of interest to those who are following the election and want to know more about the UK’s political system.

Delivered by a range of renowned experts, it will deepen your understanding of the election, as well as acting as an engaging revision tool for anyone studying British politics.

You will learn about key challenges to the existing political system, such as the emergence of parties like UKIP and the Greens, the impact of devolution, and the growing disconnect between voters and politicians. You will find out more about the UK’s electoral system and the role of parties and political leaders.

    • video
    Democracy in the UK

    Democracy in the UK

    The Westminster model is a textbook ideal that promises stability, accountability and strong political leadership. But does that ideal still match reality?

    In this video Jocelyn explores the basic foundations of democracy in the UK, including the Westminster model, parliamentary government, the devolved assemblies, local government and the voting systems we use to elect our political representatives.

    Jocelyn considers how the development of new political forums and the emergence of new political parties has reshaped the political landscape, and what this may mean for the election in 2015.

    This item is released with a Creative Commons licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

    • 4 min
    • video
    Voter dissatisfaction and the rise of protest parties

    Voter dissatisfaction and the rise of protest parties

    Are declining voter turnouts and the rise of protest parties such as UKIP and the Green Party evidence of a crisis of legitimacy in British politics?

    In this video, recorded in February 2015, Jocelyn is joined by a range of political experts to investigate the state of British politics on the eve of the 2015 election.

    Jocelyn considers the most recent evidence that there is a crisis of participation in British politics. He explores the growing popular support for UKIP and the Green Party and the increasing challenge they present to the mainstream political parties.

    This item is released with a Creative Commons licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

    • 5 min
    • video
    Devolution and the rise of regional parties

    Devolution and the rise of regional parties

    Has the devolution of power to national assemblies and increasing electoral support for regional parties critically undermined Westminster’s legitimacy as the centre of political authority in the UK?

    The closer-than-expected outcome of the referendum on Scottish independence in 2014 sent shock-waves through the political system. Now the SNP is expected to make significant gains in the national elections.

    In this video, recorded in February 2015, Jocelyn considers the potential impact of the Scottish referendum on this year’s general election. He also explores the political consequences of devolution across the UK.

    This item is released with a Creative Commons licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

    Jocelyn concludes by looking ahead to the outcome of the election. What might be the implications if the parties of protest and the parties of the regions hold the balance of power at Westminster?

    • 5 min
    • video
    Is British democracy broken?

    Is British democracy broken?

    In this video, Victoria and Stuart debate the evidence that British politics is broken. Among the key questions they discuss are:

    • Is the emergence of new political parties evidence of voter dissatisfaction or a sign that politics is alive and well?
    • What does Russell Brand’s message that people should ‘break the system’ tell us about political attitudes in 2015?
    • Is the political system broken for everyone, or just certain sections of society?
    • Why do the mainstream parties all sound the same?

    This item is released with a Creative Commons licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

    • 5 min
    • video
    The electoral system

    The electoral system

    Is First Past The Post (FPTP) still the right system for national elections in the UK, or would different electoral systems better represent a more diverse electorate?

    In this video, Jocelyn reviews the key characteristics of the Westminster electoral system. He considers the historical background of FPTP, its impact on party and government in the UK, and explores the system’s strengths and weaknesses.

    Advocates of electoral reform argue that other, more proportional systems would deliver electoral results that were fairer. Jocelyn looks at the possible alternatives and the arguments for and against.

    This item is released with a Creative Commons licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

    • 4 min
    • video
    Voter behaviour and the electoral system

    Voter behaviour and the electoral system

    Have changing patterns of voting behaviour created a fundamental tension between the electorate and the UK’s political system?

    As Jocelyn explains in this video, older views of voter behaviour based upon class-alignment have been replaced by newer models that present a more complex picture of the relationship between social position and voter behaviour.

    The emergence of a more consumerist electorate has had far-reaching implications for the political parties and for the UK’s electoral system.

    This item is released with a Creative Commons licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

    • 4 min

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