Breaking the deadlock

Britain at the polls, 2019

Edited by John Bartle and Nicholas J. Allen

Breaking the deadlock


  • eBook
  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5236-7
  • Pages: 248
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £19.99
  • Published Date: September 2021
  • BIC Category: British and Irish Politics, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Conservatism & Liberalism, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Civics & Citizenship, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Elections, Society & social sciences / Political structures: democracy, United Kingdom, Great Britain, Society & social sciences / Politics & government


The 2019 General Election was historic. In one fell swoop it resolved the longstanding stalemate surrounding Brexit and redrew the electoral map of Britain, breaking the deadlock in Parliament and bringing about the fall of Labour's so-called 'Red Wall'.

Since 2016, Members of Parliament had struggled to reconcile a contested exercise in direct democracy with the established institutions of representative government. The 2017 election was meant to bring closure to Brexit. It did not: its indecisive outcome merely exacerbated the challenges. Parliament, the courts and ultimately the Monarch herself became embroiled in the chaos of Brexit. The scale of the Conservatives' definitive victory in December 2020 was therefore a significant departure and a return to the status quo.

This latest edition of a prestigious and venerable series surveys the build up to the tumultuous election and its immediate aftermath, offering reasoned conjecture about the future of British party politics and democracy.


'Providing an essential and accessible guide, a stellar group of scholars in this volume...explain the campaign, analyse the results, and consider their meaning.'
Pippa Norris, Harvard University

'The volume at hand caps a trio of British elections, ending in the Conservative breaking of the Brexit deadlock. These distinguished electoral scholars take the reader down all sorts of lively paths.'
Michael S. Lewis-Beck, University of Iowa

'Readers outside the UK who want to keep up with British politics will find Breaking the deadlock an ideal one-volume fount of insight into the historic 2019 election.'
Jack Nagel, University of Pennsylvania


1 Deadlock: minority government and Brexit - Nicholas Allen
2 The Conservative Party: the victory of the Eurosceptics - Thomas Quinn
3 The Labour Party: leadership lacking - Paul Whiteley, Patrick Seyd and Harold D. Clarke
4 The two-party system: 'all else is embellishment and detail' - John Bartle
5 A changing electorate: new identities and the British 'culture war' - Maria Sobolewska
6 Why did the Conservatives win? - Robert Johns
7 2019: A critical election? - Jane Green
8 Comparative perspectives - Sarah Birch

Appendix: Results of British general elections, 1945-2019


Nicholas Allen is Professor of Politics at Royal Holloway, University of London

John Bartle is Professor of Government at the University of Essex

Breaking the deadlock

Edited by John Bartle, Nicholas J. Allen

Paperback £19.99 / $29.95

Hardcover £80.00 / $120.00

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