Political Parties and Local Democracy

  • Chris Game
  • Steve Leach
Part of the Government Beyond the Centre book series (GBC)


The period immediately following local government reorganisation in 1974 saw, particularly in more rural areas, a marked acceleration of the party politicisation of local government. One major cause of this development was the structural reorganisation itself: the boundary changes and the amalgamation of small and independent-dominated authorities into larger and more overtly partisan ones. An additional cause was the incorporation of formerly ‘independent’ councillors, associated with, and even members of, the Conservative Party into the Conservative mainstream as a result of explicit pressure being placed upon them to stand in future as officially adopted Conservative candidates, or risk facing the opposition of such candidates. As a result, in the years since reorganisation, the number of ‘non-partisan’ councils and independent councillors has continued to fall, although the latter are still in a majority in nearly one council in ten, and retain a significant presence on at least the same number again.


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Notes and references

  1. 2.
    Young, K. and Davies, M. (1990) The Politics of Local Government since Widdicombe, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Labour Party (1995) Memorandum to Party Groups, London.Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    Gyford, J. and James, M. (1982) National Parties and Local Politics, London: Allen & Unwin, p. 50.Google Scholar
  4. 10.
    See Eldersweld, S. (1964) Political Parties: A Behavioural Analysis, Chicago: Rand McNally.Google Scholar
  5. 11.
    Labour Party (1993) Meeting the Challenge of Modern Times, London.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© CLD Ltd 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris Game
  • Steve Leach

There are no affiliations available

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