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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 reviews the transition from the short and chaotic premiership of Liz Truss (and before that, the unpredictable stewardship of Boris Johnson) to a seemingly more stable style of leadership under Rishi Sunak. It emphasises the importance for a political leader of demonstrating competence — especially at a time of considerable economic challenges, which the article helpfully summarises. With two credible individuals now heading the UK’s two main parties, this looks set to be the main criterion on which voters will make their choice in the next general election.

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

It’s ‘nerd vs nerd’ as British politics returns to normal

Question in the style of AQA Politics Paper 1

  • Explain and analyse three factors that can bring electoral success to political parties in the UK. [9 marks]

Question in the style of Edexcel Politics Paper 1

  • Evaluate the view that an image of governing competence 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: You should also illustrate your answer with reference to recent electoral contests. The article mentions, for example, David Cameron’s 2015 electoral victory. Despite his later erratic record, it is also worth exploring the reasons for Boris Johnson’s success at the 2019 general election. And of course, the New Labour landslide of 1997 is important to know about.

Graham Goodlad, Portsmouth High School

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