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Minor Party and Independent Politics Beyond the Mainstream: Fluctuating Fortunes but a Permanent Presence

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Alistair Clark


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The three main political parties which dominate British politics, at all levels, face a continuing challenge from smaller political parties and independent candidates. Such alternatives to the main three parties, however, have been a long-standing feature of the political landscape at both national and local levels. Yet, little is known of the way in which smaller parties and independent politicians contribute to politics and government and the impact they have on the functioning of democracy and institutions' governance. Moreover there is an absence of a conceptual framework within which to assess and understand the world of small party and independent politics. The article, based on research funded by the Leverhulme Trust (grant F/094/AP), sets out such a framework from within which small party and independent politics can be considered and understood.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Copus C, Clark A, Reynaert H, Steyvers K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Parliamentary Affairs

Year: 2009

Volume: 62

Issue: 1

Pages: 4-18

ISSN (print): 0031-2290

ISSN (electronic): 1460-2482

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/pa/gsn035


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