AS Government and Politics GOVP1 Revision Guide (AQA)

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AS Government and Politics GOVP1 Revision Guide (AQA)
Is the UK a democracy?
Not democracy (elitism) Democracy (pluralism)
Two parties dominate, meaning some views of It is now becoming easier for small parties at
the electorate aren't heard. other elections.
FirstPastThePost benefits large parties. UKIP won the EU elections in 2014 with 26%
The Conservatives got a majority in 2015 with of the vote and 24 out of 73 MEPs.
only 37% of the vote. SNP won the Scottish Parliament election in
FPTP means it is hard for small parties to have 2011 with 64 seats.
much of an influence. The DUP won the Northern Ireland Assembly
In the 2015 General Election, UKIP got 13% of election in 2011 with 38 seats.
the vote but only 1 seat. The SNP did well in the 2015 General
In the 2010 General Election, the Lib Dems got Election with 56 out of 59 seats in Scotland.
23% of the vote but only 8.6% of the seats.
A party with a landslide majority in the House There are ways to hold an executive to
of Commons can effectively have an elective account.
dictatorship. PMQs every Wednesday when Parliament is
Blair had landslide majorities in 1997 and sitting.
2001, leading to the passing of the Hunting The Liaison Committee questions the Prime
Ban 2004, even though many Conservatives Minister twice a year.
opposed it. Media can scrutinise the executive by
The Hunting Ban could be forced through the revealing scandals, such as the expenses
House of Lords due to the Parliament Acts scandal.
1911 and 1949. Backbenchers can rebel against their party,
Party whips controlled backbenchers so they for example in November 2005, an
were more likely to do what the party amendment to the Terrorism Bill to allow
leadership wanted. terrorist suspects to be held without charge
for 90 days was defeated by a Labour
Low turnout at general elections. Higher referendum turnout.
Government could lack a 84.6% turnout at Scottish independence
mandate/legitimacy/authority. referendum 2014.
66.1% turnout at 2015 General Election. 81% at Northern Ireland Assembly
31.1% turnout on average at local elections. referendum 1998.
15% turnout at Police and Crime Higher nonelectoral participation.
Commissioner Elections 2012. RSPB has twice the membership of the three
main parties combined.
Is there a participation crisis?
Participation crisis No participation crisis
Low turnout at general elections. Higher referendum turnout.
Government could lack a 84.6% turnout at Scottish independence
mandate/legitimacy/authority. referendum 2014.
66.1% turnout at 2015 General Election. 81% at Northern Ireland Assembly referendum
31.1% turnout on average at local 1998.

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Police and Crime
Commissioner Elections 2012.
Low party membership. Higher nonelectoral membership and
2 million party members in 1980. membership of smaller parties.
500,000 party members now. RSPB has twice the membership of the three
Conservative membership decreased from main parties combined.
3.1% of the population in 1970 to 0.4% in The Green Surge increased the Green party
2010. membership by 13,000 in one week in January
Labour membership decreased from 2.2% 2015.
of the population in 1964 to 0.5% in 2010.…read more

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In the 2015 General Election, UKIP got 3.8 The 2011 Scottish Parliament
million votes per seat, whereas the SNP got election had a turnout of 50%.
26,000 votes per seat.
Apathy The electorate is disillusioned with politics. The electorate do care about
(don't Politics is seen as for elites who have little in political issues because they
care or common with normal people. participate in nonelectoral
can't be Only 41 nonwhite MPs. participation.
bothered Only 29% of MPs are female.…read more

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Is voting behaviour at UK general elections volatile or stable?
Voting behaviour at UK general elections is Voting behaviour at UK general elections is stable
Long term factors are now less important. Long term factors may still have some
2/3 of the electorate used to vote for their importance.
class party, now only 1/3 do. 68% of ethnic minorities voted for Labour in
In 1974, 56% of ABC1 voted for the 2010.…read more

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How significant is the election campaign in determining voting behaviour?
Campaign is significant Campaign is not significant
How significant are TV debates in determining voting behaviour?
TV debates are significant TV debates are not significant
How significant are byelections?
Byelections are significant Byelections aren't significant
Show public opinion and the government's Could just be protest voting.
popularity. The March 2011 Barnsley Central byelection
The March 2011 Barnsley Central byelection could have shown voters protecting against
had a 13.…read more

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influence over
policy and
Which electoral systems are used in the UK?
Electoral system Description Used for
Firstpastthepost Electorate vote for preferred candidate in a single General
(simple plurality) member constituencies. Candidate with most votes elections
Alternative vote Electorate rank preferred candidates in single member Labour
(majoritarian) constituencies. leadership
Candidate with majority rank wins. election
Electorate rank 1st
and 2nd preference candidates in Police and
vote (majoritarian) single member constituencies. crime
Candidate with majority rank wins.…read more

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Electorate also vote for a party's closed list of additional
members in multimember constituencies.
The number of additional members per party is
proportional to the number of votes that party gets.
Additional members at the top of the closed list win.
Should FirstPastThePost be used for UK General Elections?
FPTP should be used FPTP shouldn't be used
Governments usually have a majority, Disproportional.
meaning governments are usually stable. In the 2015 General Election, UKIP got 3.…read more

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The electorate has increased choice due The electorate may not understand due to the
to smaller parties having a greater complexity of a proportional system and having
chance. greater choice.
No need for tactical voting. May lead to reduced turnout and donkey
In the 2014 MEP elections, the electorate voting.
in Yorkshire and the Humber had the
choice of many parties, e.g. Lib Dem,
Green, UKIP, BNP, English Democrats,
Yorkshire Democrats, Yorkshire First.
Is there a perfect electoral system?
Feature FirstPastThePost Proportional Mixed
Proportionalit Disproportional.…read more

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MPs are directly Reduced There is a broken
accountable to their accountability. MPconstituency
constituents. MPs loyal to party, link with additional
Austin Mitchell (MP not constituency. members, who feel
for Grimsby) felt a 6 MEPs for Yorkshire loyal to their party,
close connection with and Humber means not the electorate.
Grimsby and fought electorate don't know This can cause two
for Grimsby's needs in who to go to with classes of
Parliament. their concerns. representative.…read more

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Can decide decisions when the government Undermines the decisionmaking power of the
can't decide. government and Parliament.
The government couldn't decide on leaving The verdict could represent the popularity of
the European Community in 1975, so called the government rather than an informed
a referendum. decision about the issue in question.
Prevents the government from making an The decision not to introduce AV in 2011
unpopular decision. could have been a result of Nick Clegg's
The 2011 AV referendum prevented the unpopularity.…read more


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