Theme: Parties & Elections | Content Type: Journal article

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Choosing the Conservative Leader: a View from History

Vernon Bogdanor

theresa maya on the paper

Thomas Charters

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The history of the choice of Conservative Party leaders shows a progression from choice by an elite via choice by MPs to choice by party members. Even so, the parliamentary party retains, by contrast with the Labour Party, a dominant role in choosing the leader. The criterion of who is best placed to unify the party remains of importance, but is supplemented by two other criteria: who is best placed to win the next general election and who is the more genuinely Conservative of the various candidates. The Liz Truss premiership of 2022, however, the year of three Prime Ministers, seemed to cast doubt on the efficacy of Conservative leadership election rules.

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Volume 94, Issue 3

Latest Journal

Volume 94, Issue 3

Includes a commentary by Colin Crouch on the dark heart of today's Conservative party, an article by Stewart Lansley tracing the history of ‘crowding out’, and its use as a justification for austerity and state deflation; and Tim Vlandas and Kate Alexander-Shaw debating the political economy of age. In our reports and surveys section, Deborah Mabbett asks where next for curbing London's emissions? The issue also includes a selection of book reviews such as Andrew Gamble on The Culture of Accountability: A Democratic Virtue by Gianfranco Pasquino and Riccardo Pelizzo, and Leila Simona Talani on Europe's Coming of Age by Loukas Tsoukalis.

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