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In the News

SNP and internal party democracy

Mike McCartney

9th March 2023

A good one to watch as the leadership debate gets underway

One of the ways that the extent to which the UK is democratic is the extent of people power in influencing the direction of its political parties. One way can be via influencing policy from the grassroots upwards. I blogged on this a while back, and the entry can be found here.

Another way is via leadership elections. One of the most democratic parties in this regard is the SNP. The nomination process is a fairly easy hurdle to clear, before going to a vote by party members. At the other end of the scale are the Conservatives. While much more democratic than before The Hague era reforms came in when leaders seemed to just 'emerge' from a golden circle, potential candidates in a competitive race to first have to negotiate a ballot by the party's MPs, and this regard it provides rank and file members with less clout. By the way, the rules of the Labour Party as they currently stand are somewhere in the middle. There is no elected element in involving the parliamentary party, but candidates must secure the backing of at least 10% of MPs.

Mike McCartney

Mike is an experienced A-Level Politics teacher, author and examiner.

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