‘Westminster’s wingman’? Shadow chancellor as a strategic and coveted political role

Journal article


Barber, S (2015). ‘Westminster’s wingman’? Shadow chancellor as a strategic and coveted political role. British Politics. 11 (2), pp. 184-204. https://doi.org/10.1057%2Fbp.2015.33
AuthorsBarber, S
Abstract

A focal job of Westminster opposition, there is nevertheless a dearth of published analysis on the job of Shadow Chancellor. This article argues that the Shadow Chancellor is distinctive because of its strategic power over opposition policy and other shadow portfolios and offers a critique of the post for perhaps the first time. The article shows that: most Shadow Chancellors have leadership ambitions but demonstrates that their position is intertwined with that of leader; that they are unlikely to be reshuffled by the leader who appointed them; and, that new leaders usually appoint new Shadow Chancellors. Drawing on various data about the behaviour of post holders, it demonstrates that the Shadow Chancellor occupies a central coordinating role alongside the opposition leader and supports the ‘Westminster Model’ by acting as a combative critic of government and grounding leadership in the collegiality of Parliament. Nonetheless, it also shows that the Shadow Chancellor’s profile is strongest outside Westminster, in projecting the economic credibility of an alternative government.

Keywordsshadow chancellor; leadership; opposition; parliament; Westminster model; 1606 Political Science; Political Science & Public Administration
Year2015
JournalBritish Politics
Journal citation11 (2), pp. 184-204
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1057%2Fbp.2015.33
Publication dates
Print10 Aug 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited25 Oct 2018
Accepted29 Jan 2015
Accepted author manuscript
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/8762z

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