Electoral modernisation or elite statecraft: Electoral administration in the United Kingdom 1997–2007

  title={Electoral modernisation or elite statecraft: Electoral administration in the United Kingdom 1997–2007},
  author={Toby S. James},
  journal={British Politics},
  • Toby S. James
  • Published 3 June 2010
  • Political Science, History
  • British Politics
Since coming to power in 1997 New Labour has introduced an enormous number of constitutional changes. Yet one aspect of change that has been frequently overlooked are those made to electoral administration, which had previously been largely unaltered since the 1918 Representation of the People Act. This article outlines the changes made, seeks to explain the forces behind these changes and offers a theoretical model capable of explaining these and other broader constitutional reforms. It argues… 


In recent years many states have reformed (or considered reforming) their electoral administration to increase turnout. This article uses the existing international literature on electoral

Identifying the determinants of electoral integrity and administration in advanced democracies: the case of Britain

Much discussion of electoral integrity focusses on new democracies. This paper explores the determinants of electoral integrity in a major established democracy in order to begin to identify drivers

Statecraft and the Assessment of National Political Leaders: The Case of New Labour and Tony Blair

This article makes the case for employing the statecraft approach (associated with the late Jim Bulpitt) to assess political leadership in Britain. Rather than ‘importing’ methodologies from the US,

Only in America? Executive partisan interest and the politics of election administration in Ireland, the UK and the USA

What role does executive partisan interest play in the reform of election administration? The forces for reform and continuity in the USA, the UK and Ireland from 1980 to 2007 are compared. Partisan

Institutional Change as Statecraft? Statecraft Theory, Historical Institutionalism and Change

This paper provides a critical examination of the contribution that statecraft theory, originally developed by Jim Bulpitt, can make to the literature on institutional change. While the approach has

Neo-Statecraft Theory, Historical Institutionalism and Institutional Change

This article provides a critical examination of the contribution that statecraft theory, which has been subject to recent revision and development, makes to the literature on institutional change. It


Although Britain has often been held up as being a model of electoral integrity, recent controversies have suggested that this perception may not be wholly justified. This article explores overall

Constitutional Design of Electoral Governance in Federal States

  • Michael Pal
  • Political Science
    Asian Journal of Comparative Law
  • 2021
Abstract This article explores the constitutional politics of electoral governance in federations by focusing on the role of election commissions, drawing mainly on examples from Asia. All

The relationship between political parties and their regulators

Political parties are in a unique situation, being able to change electoral rules and regulations to minimise any potential negative effects on their electoral prospects. Attempts to influence

The Spill-Over and Displacement Effects of Implementing Election Administration Reforms: Introducing Individual Electoral Registration in Britain

The UK government intends to replace household electoral registration with individual electoral registration (IER). This article assesses the likely effects of the reform using an innovative



Bi-constitutionality: Unravelling New Labour's Constitutional Orientations

Although there is no doubt that the British constitution has been significantly reformed since the election of Labour in May 1997, the degree to which these reforms have altered the nature of British

Thatcherism, Majorism and the Collapse of Tory Statecraft

The article offers a radical interpretation of the 'Tory statecraft' model, set out by Jim Bulpitt in 1986. It suggests that governments seek to organise their own core values into and their

The Discipline of the New Democracy: Mrs Thatcher's Domestic Statecraft

Interpretations of the first Thatcher Administration can be divided crudely into two groups, those which divine some grand purpose and consistency in its operations, and those sceptical of any such

Constitution-Making and the Labour Party

List of Boxes, Figures and Tables List of Abbreviations Acknowledgements Introduction - From Elite to Third Way Democracy? PART I: UNDERSTANDING CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE Constitutional Doctrine and

Changing Biases in the Operation of the UK's Electoral System, 1950–97

The biased outcomes of recent British general elections, whereby the two main parties (Conservative and Labour) would have achieved different percentages of the seats in the House of Commons for the

National statecraft and European integration : the conservative government and the European Union, 1979-1997

The "Europeanisation" of British policy - a statecraft approach domestic economic problems and external market solutions - Britain's relations with the European Union in historical perspective

Territory and Power Revisited: Theorising Territorial Politics in the United Kingdom after Devolution

The article seeks to contribute to theoretical analysis of political decentralisation in the UK occasioned by devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in 1998–9. It examines the

The British Constitution in the twentieth century

1. Introduction 2. The Constitution: Its Theory and Interpretation 3. The Monarchy 4. Cabinet Government 5. The House of Commons 6. The House of Lords 7. The Civil Service 8. Ministerial

The Electoral System in Britain

List of Tables and Illustrations - Preface - Introductory: British Parliamentary Democracy - The Timing of General Elections - The Electorate: Voters and Voting - Parliamentary Constituencies -

A Critical Appraisal of the Statecraft Interpretation

This article subjects the Statecraft interpretation to critical assessment. It argues that, while Bulpitt has provided a parsimonious and stimulating contribution to our understanding of British