Author Archive

Thomas Fleming

Thomas is DPhil candidate in Politics. His research explores the parliamentary consequences of partisan dealignment. In particular, he studies parliamentary behaviour and rules, asking if declining partisanship among voters has weakened the role of political parties inside parliaments.

In Britain, the government dominates parliament. This claim is a staple of “textbook” descriptions of British politics. Academic literature also suggests the British government’s power over parliament is unusual in international terms. As a result, the government’s struggle to secure parliament’s support for its Brexit deal has been widely seen as evidence that Brexit has challenged – or even overturned – this conventional wisdom. However, in this blog post we argue that recent events can be better understood as an acceleration of pre-existing trends in Britain’s political institutions and political parties that have weakened government’s grip over parliament. The Brexit process may have challenged the government’s ability to control parliament, but it was pushing at an open door. Three institutional …