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  • AQA Component Political parties: factors affecting electoral outcomes

  • Edexcel Component 2.4: Political parties: various factors that affect party success

Background: what you need to know

This article explains the divisions in the Conservative party over migration policy. The party’s rightwing, including former Home Secretary Suella Braverman, are willing to see the UK depart from the European Convention on Human Rights in order to overcome obstacles to the deportation of illegal migrants.

More than 20 moderate Conservative MPs, however, have signalled their opposition to any move which may involve the UK breaking its legal commitments. This takes place against a background of public concern about migration as an issue. It is likely to be highly damaging for the Conservatives at the next general election if Sunak cannot resolve this problem.

Click the link below to read the article and then answer the questions:

Rishi Sunak faces migration dilemma as Tory civil war worsens

Question in the style of AQA Politics Paper 1

  • ‘Party unity is the most important factor that determines success or failure in UK general elections.’ Analyse and evaluate this statement. [25 marks]

Question in the style of Edexcel Politics Paper 1

  • Evaluate the view that the most important factor influencing the electoral fortunes of political parties is how united they are.

    You must consider this view and the alternative to this view in a balanced way. [30 marks]

    TIP: Look back to earlier elections where party unity (or disunity) was an important factor. The Labour party’s left/right split on nuclear defence contributed to its crushing 1983 electoral defeat. Conservative divisions over Europe played a part in bringing New Labour to power in 1997. But also remember the importance of other factors, such as the electoral appeal of party leaders, the role of the media and the impact of events such as economic crises on parties’ fortunes.

Graham Goodlad, Portsmouth High School

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