© FT montage/Getty Images

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

Read our full range of politics picks here.


  • AQA Component 1, Section Political parties: factors affecting electoral outcomes

  • Edexcel Component 1, Section 2.4: UK political parties in context: various factors that affect party success

Background: what you need to know

Rishi Sunak has given a strong indication that the general election will be in the second half of 2024. The article reviews the strategies of the various UK parties. The Conservatives hope that a delayed election will give more time for economic improvement and hence for the so-called ‘feelgood factor’ to materialise.

Keir Starmer seeks to project an optimistic message of hope and change, whilst being realistic about the constraints that would face an incoming Labour government. The Lib Dems are targeting ‘blue wall’ Conservative seats in southern England. A new challenger is Reform UK, whose leader, Richard Tice, insists that he will not repeat the Brexit Party’s 2019 agreement to stand down in Conservative seats.

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

Rishi Sunak seeks to harvest political advantage with autumn poll strategy

Question in the style of AQA Politics Paper 1

  • ‘The most important factor that affects the fortunes of political parties is the image that they project in the media.’ Analyse and evaluate this statement. [25 marks]

Question in the style of Edexcel Politics Paper 1

  • Evaluate the view that the most important factor determining the success or failure of political parties is the image that they project in the media.

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

    TIP: Bear in mind that the notion of ‘success’ for political parties can be measured in different ways. For the major parties the aim is to win power at a general election. But for minor parties, it may be about raising their profile and influencing the policies of the larger parties.

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