Stretched but not snapped: constitutional lessons from the 2010 coalition government in Britain

Journal article


Barber, S (2014). Stretched but not snapped: constitutional lessons from the 2010 coalition government in Britain. Commonwealth and Comparative Politics. 52 (4), pp. 473-492.
AuthorsBarber, S
Abstract

© 2014 Taylor & Francis. Taking as its point of departure Matthews' (2011) ‘Constitutional stretching: Coalition governance and the Westminster model (Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, 49(4), 486–509), this article draws on the experience of coalition government in Westminster to review, categorise and consider how power sharing has necessitated a rethink of what is the British constitution. Defining constitutional stretching as being about the sustained operation of two-party government within the Westminster model, it shows that traditional practices around manifestos, collective responsibility and the prerogative have been adjusted since 2010 in order to facilitate functioning administration. The article observes that some stretching is not entirely novel with precedents to be found in earlier single party administrations. It further argues that while conventions have been strained, the Cameron/Clegg government survived, suggesting a need to adjust our understanding of constitutional concepts. Given the likelihood of future hung parliaments, this could mean more permanent constitutional change and the article makes some modest suggestions for updating guidance.

Keywords1606 Political Science; Political Science & Public Administration
Year2014
JournalCommonwealth and Comparative Politics
Journal citation52 (4), pp. 473-492
ISSN1466-2043
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/14662043.2014.959287
Publication dates
Print27 Oct 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited30 Oct 2018
Accepted18 Sep 2014
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY 4.0
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/87780

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