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Ideology, Grandstanding, and Strategic Party Disloyalty in British Parliament

Slapin, J and Kirkland, JH and Lazzaro, JA and Leslie, PA and O'Grady, T (2018) 'Ideology, Grandstanding, and Strategic Party Disloyalty in British Parliament.' American Political Science Review, 112 (1). 15 - 30. ISSN 0003-0554

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Abstract

Strong party discipline is a core feature of Westminster parliamentary systems. Parties typically compel Members of Parliament (MPs) to support the party position regardless of MPs' individual preferences. Rebellion, however, does occur. Using an original dataset of MP votes and speeches in the British House of Commons from 1992 to 2015, coupled with new estimations of MPs' ideological positions within their party, we find evidence that MPs use rebellion to strategically differentiate themselves from their party. The strategy that MPs employ is contingent upon an interaction of ideological extremity with party control of government. Extremists are loyal when their party is in the opposition, but these same extremists become more likely to rebel when their party controls government. Additionally, they emphasize their rebellion through speeches. Existing models of rebellion and party discipline do not account for government agenda control and do not explain these patterns.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2017 14:13
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2018 13:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/20195

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