Political Parties - Essay Example

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Political Parties

(Bogdanor, 2006) Figures have however been more dismal in the past 30 years. In 2005, membership of the Conservative Party had fallen to an abysmal 250,000.
Thus from 1975 to 2005, the Conservative Party has lost more than four out of five of its members. (Bogdanor, 2006) Interestingly, within that same period, the Conservative Party has been in power for a total of more than 15 years. Consequently, though it has been in power for more than half the total time between 1975 and 2005, the Conservative Party has lost more than four fifths of individual membership.
The situation of the Labour Party is also very dismal. Though membership drive in 1996 had witnessed an increase of individual membership to 400,000, by 2006, membership of the Labour Party had dropped to 200,000, half its number in a space of 10 years and one fifth in the space of about 50 years. (Bogdanor, 2006)
"Fifty years ago, 1 in 11 of the electorate belonged to a political party; today just 1 in 88 do. Moreover, voters feel less attached to parties than they did. In 1966, 42 per cent professed a "very strong" attachment to the party of their choice; today only 13 per cent do. That, no doubt, is one of the reasons for the increasing volatility of voters and low turnout in general elections - 59 per cent in 2001, 62 per cent in 2005." (para. 1)
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Summary

The role of political parties in representative democracy has a long history that even predates the advent of universal suffrage. (Bogdanor, 2006) The first half of the 20th century witnessed the upsurge in the membership of political parties. In the UK, the Labour Party which was formed in 1900 could boast of a million members by the early part of the 1950s…
Author : kirk46

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