Do Parties Matter? Party Ideology and Party Competition

  • Erica Consterdine


The focus of this chapter is on the governing party and the elites that comprised it. Whilst those who have studied the relationship between parties and immigration policy have focused on party strategy, given that ‘in no Western European country can politicians or political parties gain votes by favouring new immigration’ (Lahav, JCMS, 35: 377–406, 1997, 382), expansive policies cannot be regarded as a pragmatic electoral strategy. Following 18 years in opposition, the Party that entered government in 1997 was a very different beast from previous Labour governments. The purpose of this chapter is to examine whether such changes in the party ideology shaped the immigration policy preferences of leading elites and the degree of autonomy the government had in implementing such policies.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erica Consterdine
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Politics and Sussex Centre for Migration ResearchUniversity of SussexBrightonUK

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