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Rational Choice and British PoliticsAn Analysis of Rhetoric and Manipulation from Peel to Blair$
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Iain McLean

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198295297

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198295294.001.0001

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The Great Victorian Realignment

The Great Victorian Realignment

Chapter:
(p.87) 4 The Great Victorian Realignment
Source:
Rational Choice and British Politics
Author(s):

Iain McLean (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198295294.003.0004

A case study of the great Victorian electoral realignment. Corrects existing claims about landslide elections, and tabulates the bias and responsiveness of the UK electoral system from 1868 to 1918. Examines the opportunities and problems for politicians in two‐dimensional space. A new account of the reasons for Gladstone's failure to achieve Home Rule for Ireland in 1886 and 1893 is offered, as is a solution to the puzzle of why politicians whose interest lay in widening the franchise after 1900, especially by introducing women's suffrage, failed to do so.

Keywords:   bias, electoral system, franchise, W. E. Gladstone, Home Rule for Ireland, realignment, responsiveness, women's suffrage

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