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Former Home Secretary joins academic experts to examine coalition impact


Former Home Secretary David Blunkett was among the guests discussing whether coalition government has become a permanent feature of the British political landscape, at a special event at Newcastle University.

The event, organised by Politics at Newcastle University, brought together politicians, academics and commentators to examine whether single party government is still a viable option in British politics.

Mr Blunkett was joined by Anne McIntosh, former Conservative MP for Thirsk and Malton, Wendy Taylor, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Newcastle East, and Dr Nick Vivyan, lecturer in Politics at Durham University and member of the Election Forecast UK team, to share their views on whether coalition government is here to stay and what this means for voters in this – and future - elections.

Event organiser, Craig Johnson, from Newcastle University, said: “There is a great deal of speculation about how the different parties might co-operate with each other and what shape the next Government will take. Few people expected a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition following the election in 2010, and the recent growth in popularity of smaller parties suggests that the outcome of this election is also unlikely to be straightforward.

“With just over two weeks until Britain goes to the polls, today’s event aimed to shine a light on co-operation and competition between the political parties and what this means, both for politicians and for voters.”

Today’s event also featured a number of leading academics, including experts from Newcastle University. Among the topics covered were how Labour has dealt with its electoral weaknesses in the run up to 2015, whether the Lib Dems can avoid disaster and the Conservatives in Government, as well as the role of leadership visits, and different perspectives on national and local politics.

Dr Nick Randall, Head of Politics, Newcastle University, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to attract such a high quality line up of speakers for our event today, and I’d like to thank them all for taking part

“The growing debate we’ve seen over co-operation between parties means it’s more relevant than ever before to ask whether the very nature of politics in Britain is changing. This is a key area of research expertise for us here at Newcastle, and why we’re currently expanding our team of research staff covering British politics, hung parliaments and coalition governments to ensure we remain at the forefront of this fast moving area of research.”

published on: 22 April 2015