Real progress: prospects for Green Party support in Britain

Birch, S. (2009) Real progress: prospects for Green Party support in Britain. Parliamentary Affairs, 62(1), pp. 53-71. (doi: 10.1093/pa/gsn037)

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There has been a notable increase in Green Party support in England and Wales over the past decade, as environmental issues have come into the political mainstream. The Green Party—a minor party defined as a party with no elected seats in Parliament—stands poised to make an electoral breakthrough, being the only significant party in the UK to have experienced regular election-on-election increases in vote totals and increases in the number of councillors elected. Electoral data indicate considerable potential for the Greens to increase their vote share and that they are currently drawing support from a wide spectrum of the population. These factors make of the Green Party an ideal case study through which to analyse the upward trajectory of minor party development. This article assesses the changing patterns of Green Party support and the characteristics (socio-demographic attributes, values, attitudes and political behaviour) of those groups that have recently come to support the Greens. The analysis will consider the conditions under which a minor party can break through to ‘major’ party status and the factors that facilitate a move over the minor–major party threshold.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Birch, Professor Sarah
Authors: Birch, S.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:Parliamentary Affairs
Publisher:Oxford University Press on behalf of the Hansard Society for Parliamentary Government
ISSN (Online):1460-2482

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