It can be difficult working out exactly what parties stand for. They tend to put all their ideas in their Manifestos - their policy promises. This is a Superb BBC guide to all the parties in the UK General election and what their views are on particular issues. This may be useful for any young new voters.
Today, the Conservative MP Phillip Lee 'Crossed the Floor' a dramatic and theatrical demonstration of a change of loyalty. In his case he moved to become a Liberal Democrat. Crossing the Floor means that you literally change parties and 'cross the floor' of the House of Commons to demonstrate this. It is reasonably rare but in times of political crises such as at present it is another sign of the heightened stakes and tensions at Westminster.
It is also doubly significant because it removes the Governments working majority.
Politics courses usually start in August with not too much happening but already we have things happening thick and fast on the ground. These are already great examples for AS British Politics and A2 Comparative.
FIRSTLY: Boris Johnson has PROROGUED PARLIAMENT! What does that mean? Well he hasn't shut it down completely but he has used the tactic of suspending it prior to having a Queen's Speech in October. Is this allowed? Well, it is allowed but many argue that what he has done is actually take advantage of political mechanisms to try and stifle debate and opposition to a no deal Brexit which has been simmering in Westminster. He is reducing the time available to MP's before the October Brexit deadline.
SECONDLY, Number 10 advisors / Government Whips have announced that they are going to take the extreme step of DESELECTING any of the Conservative MP's who vote against the Government. This means that those MP's who defy the party whip would not have the chance to run again as a Conservative candidate and a new candidate would be selected instead. This is a ruthless way to run the party and could have two results. He could perhaps instill iron discipline to push through Brexit through determination and threat or he could alienate not just moderates in his party but moderate Tories throughout the country. Many see this as a usurpation of power and a rejection of representative democracy. Some senior Tories including two former Chancellors and Big Beasts - Phillip Hammond and Ken Clark are deeply opposed to such tactics and openly criticise their use.
Great examples of PM/ Executive control / Use of Whips and Back Bench rebellion.
The short answer is YES! There are a lot of areas that are very applicable to the exams:
This BBC article sets out in detail how many have resigned from the May government in comparison to other Prime Ministers.
Brexit continues to ravage through British politics in the run up to the supposed Brexit date and one of the biggest recent stories is the emergence of the new 'independent group of MP's. These MP's are entirely disillusioned by their parties stances - mostly on Brexit. Most of them are Labour MP's who are fed up with Jeremy Corbyn's leadership. Some are deeply opposed to his alleged reluctance to deal with anti Semitism in the party. In political terms it means that it is another clear sign that the traditional party allegiances and broad church parties are being deeply divided by Brexit in a way no other issue has ever divided them. This perhaps mirrors the country as a whole
It is quite a seismic shift in UK Politics which tends to be very party controlled - this small (and growing group) have also become the 4th largest 'party' in the UK. In a Parliament in which government teeters on a knife edge of support that is quite significant.
HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO A LEVEL POLITICS STUDENTS?
This is a very good example of party discipline being undermined ; The powers of MP's / backbenchers; The change of party control in the Commons ; The limitations to the power of the whip.
In another sign of the deep divisions ripping through British Politics at the moment, Environment Minister George Eustice has resigned from the Government due to the proposed delay to Brexit, suggested by Theresa May this week. Eustice is a well known Brexiteer and believes that the Prime Minister, by taking a no deal off the table, has removed any form of bargaining chip for Britain in what he believes should be the final run up to Brexit.
HOW CAN WE USE THIS IN A LEVEL POLITICS?
His resignation is a good example to Politics students of Cabinet splits and Collective Responsibility - as he felt he could not support the Government policy and therefore had to resign.
A BBC analysis of where the UK is now using 8 charts to help explain
This excellent BBC Video explains how the Tories can possibly topple their leader and Prime Minister
Mr John Wishart -