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How governments are formed (Page 263/241 Mc Naughton)
Govt = 100+ ministers and senior party officials appointed by PM that forms
"inner circle" which governs the country
In the UK there are no codified rules as to how the govt is formed, it's just the
natural consequences following the outcome of a general election
In theory, we don't need rules because the choice of govt is in the hands of the
monarch.…read more

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Would only equal majority of three though, and so would be a fragile
6) G. Brown resigned as PM and Lab leader. Went to palace and asked
queen to invite DC to form a govt, either as minority or as coalition with
7) Cameron accepted, and announced coalition negotiations with Nick Clegg
had been successfully completed
The `government' (Pages 264265/244245)
23 Cabinet Members PM, heads of department etc. = ultimate source of policy
15 Senior noncabinet posts ­ heads of important offices e.g.…read more

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They don't meet regularly as a 115 ­ fold body, but the cabinet meet
Ministerial selection (pages 265266/245246)
PM needs to weigh up personal qualities vs. political consequences, i.e. if best
person for the job is considered a party "rebel"
They need to be politically reliable (agree with PM in public)
Dissidents are sometimes appointed, like Robin Cook and Clare Short, under
Blair.…read more

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It is very possible that we will have to adapt to new forms of government
in the future if we either change the electoral system or the Liberal
Democrats continue to make progress so that we have a threeparty
Minority government (Page 266/247)
Minority governments are unusual, unstable and normally short lived
governments, as this is when a party forms government without a majority.…read more

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However, it some countries like
Italy and Israel, coalitions have been very unstable and have not lasted long.
The only coalition government in the UK since 1945 is the current one which was
created in May 2010. In the UK coalitions are believed to be avoided at all costs.
In the Scottish government there has been a coalition in place since 1998
between Labour and the LDs. There is also a coalition in place between the two
parties in the Welsh Assembly.…read more

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Possible coalitions in the UK May 2010 (Page 268)
1. Conservative minority government ­ 20 seats short of a majority and
would have to rely on support from: Democratic Unionists in NI plus any
other that would support it on specific issues.
2. Progressive rainbow coalition ­ Consists of: Labour, Scottish
Nationalists, Plaid Cymru, the NI SDLD and a Green MP = 329 MP's >>
majority of 8.
3. ConservativeL.D coalition: Successful option.…read more

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In summary: cabinet considered to be the centrepiece of the government and its
supreme policymaking institution.
Cabinet government was drawing to a close during the years of:
Harold Macmillan (Cons ­ 19571963) less so
Harold Wilson (Lab ­ 19641970) ­ particularly so
The changing UK cabinet (Page 269/249)
During the 1960's the PM became increasingly dominant within the
2 of Wilson's cabinet colleagues (Crossman and Castle) spoke openly of
`Prime ministerial government'.…read more

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Originates from Labour PM Harold Wilson, who learned that it was
possible to dominate the entire governing process (in particular the
Did so through the formation of a closeknit team of allies: Cabinet
Secretary (most senior civil servant) to serve the PM almost exclusively,
alongside a `kitchen cabinet' consisting of his most trusted advisors.
With this unit, could control political agenda from 10 Downing Street.…read more

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The cabinet, whilst appearing to operate in a similar way to previous
cabinets, was packed with Thatcher's supporters, and she controlled
meetings just as Wilson had.
She was hugely respected abroad (almost as respected as Churchill had
been), and media focus was placed heavily upon the Conservative leader.
However, in 1990, it was her cabinet that eventually removed her from
office, tired of her unshakeable stance on the highly unpopular local tax,
she was replaced with John Major.…read more


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