As a consequence, prime ministers have gradually institutionalised their involvement in policy. The view now, is that it is the prime minister, and not the cabinet, who dominates both the executive and Parliament. This happens because the prime minister is both the head of the civil service and the leader of the largest party in the Commons. As prime ministers have considerable authority in the management and controlling of cabinet, it is argued that cabinet has declined and so the power of the prime minister has increased. Prime ministers chair cabinet meetings, this enables prime ministers to harness the decision – making authority of the cabinet to their own ends.
However, since the 1950s, many have argued that the growth of prime ministerial power as a consequence of aspects such as the media, have led to an increase in dominance over the cabinet. In this essay, I will be arguing in favour of why I believe the prime minister is portrayed to dominate the UK’s political system to a large extent. The prime minister acquires many powers that have varied over the past years for different prime ministers depending on individual strength and personality. For example, a strong figure such as Margaret Thatcher may have taken full affect of her formal and actual powers as opposed to a less authoritative figure such as John Major. Prime ministerial power partly originates from being appointed by the Queen and it is they who then have the authority to hire, fire, promote and demote all ministers within their cabinet and government.
Blair was also able to control ministers by use of his "sofa government"- informal decision making by Blair and a select group of non-elected advisors. However, the power the Prime Minister has over Cabinet relies a lot on the Prime Minister being popular. Thatcher, for example, started off as popular, ruling her Cabinet in the way she wanted, but she lost a large amount of public and ministerial support by the end of her role as Prime Minister, and her Cabinet began to turn from her. Another limitation of the Prime Minister is the ability of Cabinet members to carry out a motion of no confidence, in which they will determine whether or not the Prime Minister remains fit to carry out their duties. If the motion is carried then the Prime Minister will be forced
One of the women he appointed was Nicky Morgan, who replaced Gove as Education Secretary. This power is important because the cabinet ministers are some of the key people in how the country is run as they are all responsible for their certain departments, therefore they have a lot of control over the key parts of life for example Education. Despite all these points, it is not the PM’s most important power as they are just cabinet ministers and he can appoint/sack as many has he wants, even though they are important for the economy they aren’t the be all and end all as they do not have as much of an effect as the outcome of the power where he can declare war. Another factor that comes under patronage is the appointment of senior ministers. The Prime Minister makes all
In a national crisis and times of difficulty the country unites behind the head of government. There has been a long term drift towards seeing the prime minister as a leader, rather than the monarch. * The growth of 10 Downing Street. To begin with the cabinet office was a relatively small organisation. However since the 1960’s there has been a steady growth within 10 Downing Street.
How has coalition government affected party politics in the UK? A coalition government is a government in which two or more political parties are in power, reducing the dominance of any one party within that coalition. The usual reason given for this arrangement is that no party on its own can achieve enough votes to gain power. The UK currently has a First Past the Post electoral system which is not designed to create a coalition government and so the now coalition government is the first we have experienced in the UK. The arrival of a coalition government formed between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative Party in 2010 has affected UK party politics in various ways.
How successful was Macmillan as leader of the Conservatives? The success of Macmillan's leadership of the Conservatives is defined by the electoral support the party had during his time of leadership, as his decisions in policy and his image affected the party's election victories altogether. Furthermore, another success factor may be his ability to stay as leader of the party itself, as an unsuccessful leader would be urged to step down. Most importantly, the initial success of Macmillan as leader of the Conservatives could be because of his ability to manipulate the media and create a positive personal image in his early years, leading to a successful election victory in 1959. Macmillan was able to bolster the image of the party by handling criticism and potentially turning it around.
To what extent has prime ministerial power grown in recent years? Prime ministerial power is slowly but surely growing over the recent years, there is a number of examples of this that I will list and explain while answering this question. In the British government the prime mister is has seen an increase of media time, this has an indirect effect of the people, the Britain can start to develop the mentality of answering to the prime minister rather than the governing party, with this party spokes people will not be as or anywhere near as the prime minister with his lengthened face time. It is now seen as axiomatic that the power of the prime minister has increased over time, partly reflecting the growth in the scope and complexity of government, and partly because of the media’s preoccupation with personality and style over substance. It is often claimed that Cabinet government has made way for prime ministerial government, and this is scarcely a recent charge.
Furthermore the increase in prime-ministerial or even ‘presidential’ government in the UK, with the leader of the executive having accumulated more power, makes it more difficult for Parliament to control executive power. It could be argued that Parliament does control executive power effectively due to the range of scrutiny methods that is available; to make sure the government and executive powers are held responsible for their decisions. An important feature of the Westminster system
It can be argued that FPTP has created a clear two party system. This can be illustrated because post-war only Labour and Conservatives have been in power. Labour or Conservatives have been the government every election because they have a lot of support throughout the UK, and therefore come first in many constituencies. To form a government, a party must have the majority of seats throughout the UK, which Labour or Conservatives always do. In 2005, the Liberal Democrats had 22% of the overall vote in the UK, sharing, but because of the FPTP system they only won 62 seats out of the 646 constituencies in the UK, this shows this system as clearly an unfair.