The UK once had a highly majoritarian political system, with power alternating between two dominant parties. This has now changed. The vote share of the two large parties has declined dramatically – 35% is now regarded as a winning rather than a losing vote share. This makes single-party majorities less likely (though not impossible) to achieve as greater space is created for smaller parties to establish themselves in the House of Commons.
Many of the conventions and expectations surrounding elections in the UK are designed for an era of two-party dominance and may now therefore need rethinking. We consider some of the key issues in this paper, making suggestions for what should be done up to and after the election of May 2015, as well as proposals for larger reforms to consider over the longer term.
Visit the Institute for Government to download - Westminster in an age of minorities. How to form and sustain a government after another hung parliament