The coalition beyond Westminster

McGarvey, Neil (2015) The coalition beyond Westminster. In: The Coalition Effect. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 87-112. ISBN 9781107440180 (In Press)

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Abstract

Coalition politics while new, novel and unique in the village of Westminster in 2010 had already been well-established governing forms, and are actually ‘par for the course’ and the anticipated governmental outcome post-election in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. In each of these countries post-devolution constitutional rules and electoral procedures all contain within them provision for a more proportional legislature. Despite coalition politics being the anticipated ‘normal’ politics in the Celtic periphery, the irony is that for the bulk of the 2010-15 period, both Scotland (SNP) and Wales (Labour) were governed by single parties, in spite of the more proportional devolved electoral systems.Whilst the coalition effect on policymaking is immediately obvious when viewed through the prism of UK politics, it is less readily apparent when viewed from the Celtic periphery. In that respect the ‘seismic change in the dynamics of British politics’ did not appear quite as such in the Celtic periphery. Coalition and multi-party politics, fixed term Parliaments, referendums and the like were not novel in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Indeed they have become very much part of ‘normal’ politics.