Breaking the deadlock

Britain at the polls, 2019

Edited by John Bartle and Nicholas J. Allen

Breaking the deadlock


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5236-7
  • Pages: 280
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £14.99
  • Published Date: January 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 aftermath, offering reasoned conjecture about the future of British party politics and democracy.


Preface - John Bartley and Nicholas Allen
1 Deadlock: Minority government and Brexit - Nicholas Allen
2 The Conservative Party: the triumph of the Eurosceptics - Thomas Quinn
3 The Labour Party: paralysis on the left - Paul Whiteley
4 Chaos and complexity in the party system - John Bartle
5 A divided electorate: old loyalties, new identities and the British 'culture war' - Maria Sobolewska
6 Why [the Conservatives/Labour/no one] won - Robert Johns
7 Britain in the wider world: not so exceptional - Sarah Birch
8 A critical election? - Jane Green
Appendix: Election results since 1945


John Bartle is Professor of Government at the University of Essex

Nicholas Allen is Reader in Politics at Royal Holloway University at the University of London

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