Live revision! Join us for our free exam revision livestreams Watch now

In the News

Tory party disunity over immigration

Mike McCartney

7th December 2023

Internal party splits don't play well with the electorate

When the story popped up on Channel 4 news about the Robert Jenrick resigning as immigration ministers I first thought that would be yet another good example from the current government of individual ministerial responsibility kicking in. Which it is. But from the government that just keeps on giving in terms of its rich vein of examples to support points in the UK Politics course, it also perfectly illustrates the case regarding the four Ps when it comes to voting behaviour and follows on, in almost serendipitous fashion, from my blog yesterday.

When it comes to how elections are won and lost, there is still a huge rump of the electorate who vote along class and partisan lines, but elections are decided on much more short to medium factors. What we can call the three Ps: past performance, the party leader, and future policies. We could also add a fourth 'P' here for party unity, but this only really applies in particular elections. We can think back to the massive internecine warfare within the Labour Party 40 years ago and how this damaged their chances at the polls in 1983. Or, with regards to the Conservative party a decade later how years of division, largely over the issue of the UK's membership of the EU, hurt them at the 1997 election. I don't think it is an exaggeration to say that the Conservatives as a governing party looks more fractious than at any time since John Major was PM, with many going as faros to question how long Rishi Sunak as premier can hang on.

Questions on the video:

1. How is Rishi Sunak perceived by some people on the right?

2. What is the current state of the revolt on the right?

3. What is the immediate threat that Rishi Sunak is facing?

4. What would Rishi Sunak do if the bill is killed off?

5. What is the main focus of the emergency legislation introduced by the Home Secretary?

6. What does the bill declare about the Republic of Rwanda?

7. What concerns do MPs on the right have about the bill?

8. What are some options that Tory MPs on the right have when the bill passes through Parliament?

9. What is the potential outcome if the bill reaches the House of Lords?

10. What is the stance of the interviewee regarding voting against the government?

Suggested answers:

1. Some people on the right perceive Rishi Sunak as a close ally who has supported the Prime Minister from the beginning.

2. The revolt on the right is not unified, with some people talking about toppling Rishi Sunak and others being unsure.

3. The immediate threat is the second reading vote on Tuesday, which requires around 30 rebels to press the button.

4. If the bill is killed off, Rishi Sunak's reputation, which is linked to the bill, would be affected.

5. The emergency legislation introduced by the Home Secretary focuses on enabling the government's flagship policy regarding a partnership with Rwanda.

6. The bill declares that every decision maker must treat the Republic of Rwanda as a safe country.

7. MPs on the right are concerned that the bill may still not prevent individual legal challenges.

8. Tory MPs on the right can either vote against the bill with Labour or abstain in large numbers.

9. If the bill doesn't have the support of the party when it reaches the House of Lords, it may face strong opposition.

10. The interviewee wants to support legislation that works but is not prepared to vote against the government at this moment.

Mike McCartney

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

© 2002-2024 Tutor2u Limited. Company Reg no: 04489574. VAT reg no 816865400.