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The 2017 Labour General Election Campaign: Ushering in a ‘New Politics’?

Abstract : In many ways, the British General Election campaign of 2017 marked a return to ‘old politics’ with the reaffirmation of a two-party system and levels of voter turnout not seen in 25 years. The Conservative Party, as in previous elections, relied to a considerable extent on negative campaigning and pledged to implement traditional conservative policies supporting grammar schools and blood sports. Yet, the campaign also appeared to be characterised by a ‘new politics’, embodied by the style and policies of the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. This was a politics that largely relied on positive campaigning and mobilised grassroots activism to an extent rarely seen before, ensuring that it inspired new voters. This article focuses on the role of the ‘new politics’ in the election campaign before moving on to discuss the future of such politics under Labour in opposition and perhaps in power. It will be asked to what extent ordinary people can help shape Labour Party policy, questioning whether Labour can manage to liberate itself from its own internal party machinery and from its traditional reliance on the State in order to move durably beyond the ‘old politics’ towards a democratised ‘new politics’.
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Emma Bell. The 2017 Labour General Election Campaign: Ushering in a ‘New Politics’?. Revue française de civilisation britannique, CRECIB - Centre de recherche et d'études en civilisation britannique, 2018, 23 (2), ⟨10.4000/rfcb.2029⟩. ⟨hal-02550642⟩



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