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Coalition cohesion

Norton, Philip



Timothy Heppell

David Seawright


Anthony King (1976) identified different modes of executive-legislative relations. In the United Kingdom, the most visible is the opposition mode, in which the party in government is pitted against the party or parties, in opposition. This mode, as King notes, is marked by conflict. Each side is usually united as it faces the other side. However, cohesion may not be total. As a result, one other mode, the intra-party mode - encompassing opposition within a party - is significant because the party in government rests on the support of those who occupy its benches rather than those who sit opposite. If its ranks show signs of dissent then it may be in trouble. The opposition mode has been the dominant mode for more than a century, though in recent decades the intra-party mode has assumed greater significance as government backbenchers have proved more willing to vote against their party (Norton, 1975, 1978, 1980; Cowley and Norton, 1999; Cowley, 2002, 2005).


Norton, P. (2012). Coalition cohesion. In T. Heppell, & D. Seawright (Eds.), Cameron and the Conservatives: The transition to coalition government (181-193). London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Acceptance Date Jan 1, 2012
Publication Date Jan 1, 2012
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Pages 181-193
Book Title Cameron and the Conservatives: The transition to coalition government
Chapter Number 13
ISBN 9781349339525; 9780230314108
Public URL