Factors leading to Pressure Group success

Factors and methods which ultimately lead to success for pressure groups.

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Reasons for Success

  • The support of the media, particularly if it is sustained over a period of time. Also the way pressure groups use the media can be critical.
  • The level of sympathy the government feels for the issue and how many votes it feels it might win or lose. The nearness of an election may well be a factor here.
  • The question of whether decision makers are in broad agreement with the PG.
  • The size and possible lectoral impact of the group's membership.
  • How united the pressure group is (e.g. teachers have at least six different unions that frequently disagree, whereas GPs have one, the BMA, and so the latter is much more likely to be listened to).
  • Whether the pressure group has the recourses to employ able managers, to advertise etc. Money can be vital.
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Reasons (continued)

  • The quality of the group's organisation and leadership, and whether the pressure group chooses the right methods and targets the right people.
  • The attitude of the public towards the issue.
  • The pressure group's ability to make alliances with other groups over an issue. Coalitions of groups can often be successful.
  • The number of members the group has, and the type of membership. A mass group such as the RSPB will carry a lot of weight. Having the 'right' sort of membership helps as well. Hospital consultants are much more likely to be listened to than hospital porters.
  • The ability to cause trouble. Fuel tank drivers and tube drivers are much more likely to be listened to than florists.
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