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  • AQA Component Political parties: policies of minor parties and their impact on political debates and political agenda

  • Edexcel Component 1, Section 2.3: Emerging and minor UK political parties

Background: what you need to know

This article highlights the way in which Reform UK (formerly the Brexit Party) has capitalised on the disenchantment of many traditional Conservative voters with their party. Key factors include concern over illegal immigration, the cost of living crisis, tax rises and problems with public services.

The Brexit Party’s decision to stand aside in 317 Conservative seats played a part in Boris Johnson’s victory at the 2019 general election but there seems no prospect of similar co-operation next time. The article suggests that this could jeopardise the Conservatives’ hold on many former ‘red wall’ seats in the north and the midlands. These are the areas where the government’s perceived failure to deliver concrete results from Brexit is most keenly felt.

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

How much of a threat is Reform UK to the Tories?

Question in the style of AQA Politics Paper 1

  • ‘Minor parties play an increasingly important role in UK politics.’ Analyse and evaluate this statement. [25 marks]

Question in the style of Edexcel Politics Paper 1

  • Evaluate the view that minor parties are increasingly important in UK politics.

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

    TIP: The article assesses Reform UK in depth, but you should consider the significance of other small parties such as the Green Party. How vulnerable are the established parties to challenges from minor and emerging parties? The recent success of the SNP in Scotland, historically a Labour stronghold, is another possible case to look at.

Graham Goodlad, Portsmouth High School

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