A Changing Constitution

  • David Butler


The people of Britain have been accustomed to making a simple political choice. In each general election the voters have, effectively, been asked to decide which of two parties should govern. Over the last 55 years, with one slight exception, they have always sent a clear Conservative majority or a clear Labour majority to the House of Commons. Since 1945 every government has been formed entirely from one party. The King or Queen has never been faced with a real dilemma over who should be asked to be Prime Minister. Events have fostered in politicians, in civil servants, and in ordinary citizens a habit of mind that assumes the conduct of government to rest in the hands of a single party that commands a parliamentary majority.


Civil Servant British Government Stable Electorate Community Court Minority Government 
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Copyright information

© David Butler 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Butler
    • 1
  1. 1.Nuffield CollegeOxfordUK

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