This article picked by a teacher with suggested questions is part of the Financial Times free schools access programme. Details/registration here.


  • 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 reviews the state of the Scottish Nationalist Party and the challenges facing the cause of Scottish independence following the resignation of party leader and first minister, Nicola Sturgeon. It provides a balanced assessment of her legacy, giving her credit for taking the separatist agenda forward since 2014 whilst also highlighting the recent loss of her once acute political touch.

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

Nicola Sturgeon had run out of ideas on Scottish independence

Question in the style of AQA Politics Paper 1

  • Explain and analyse three factors that can influence the success or failure of political parties in the UK. [9 marks]

Question in the style of Edexcel Politics Paper 1

  • Evaluate the view that the nature of their leadership is the most important factor influencing the fortunes of political parties. You must consider this view and the alternative to this view in a balanced way. [30 marks]

    TIP: There is useful material here for an essay on the importance of party leadership in determining the success or failure of political parties. Be mindful, too, of the part played by other factors, such as the impact of external events, the media image of a party, and the strengths and weaknesses of its opponents.

Graham Goodlad, Portsmouth High School

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2024. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window) CommentsJump to comments section

Follow the topics in this article