Constitution

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Thursday’s election leaves the Anglo-Scottish Union on the brink. A combination of the first past the post system and the crystallisation of increasingly sharp attitudinal differences between England and Scotland has produced starkly divergent political systems which are now set to clash in the House of Commons.
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Press Release - End of “British Party System”, say Experts

Some of the UK’s leading political scholars believe that ‘British Party Politics’ has ceased to be a meaningful phrase. Speaking as the final results were coming in, experts raised concerns about how the component nations of the UK – most especially England and Scotland - would communicate politically. In part this concerns is raised by differing attitudes between the UK’s nations on issues such as an EU referendum, social policy, austerity, and more. It is further complicated by ‘asymmetric devolution’ within the UK and the lack of multilateral approach to constitutional reform.

The UK is accustomed to finding out who has won an election in fairly short order - an exhausted party leader appears on TV in the dead of night to say that they have spoken to their opposite number and one or other has conceded that they cannot form a government. Things were rather different in 2010 and look set to be still more unusual this time. Professor Robert Hazel of UCL's Constitution Unit, who advised on the formation of the last government, explains how the process will work.

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