Conservative Dissidents: Dissent within the Parliamentary Conservative Party, 1970-74

Conservative Dissidents: Dissent within the Parliamentary Conservative Party, 1970-74

Conservative Dissidents: Dissent within the Parliamentary Conservative Party, 1970-74

Conservative Dissidents: Dissent within the Parliamentary Conservative Party, 1970-74

Excerpt

I first began researching intra-party dissent in the House of Commons in 1972, at a time when it was undergoing a notable increase both in public incidence and significance on the Government benches. It has continued to increase in incidence and significance since, and so my research continued and continues.

This work constitutes a slightly modified version of the most important part of my research, namely a PhD thesis undertaken to analyse the increase in intra-party dissent on the Conservative benches in the Parliament of 1970-74. The research for the thesis was carried out in the Department of Political Theory and Institutions at the University of Sheffield, the thesis itself being accepted by the University in 1977. The modifications made to it in order to achieve the transition to publishable form have been, that to economize on space, a number of passages have been condensed, the bibliography (which can be gleaned from the remaining footnotes) has been omitted, as has part of the short statistical note, and the number of footnotes has been reduced. In particular, I have deleted most references to my earlier work Dissension in the House of Commons 1945-74; in the following pages all details of dissent in the Commons' division lobbies, unless otherwise stated, are taken from that work. The lines of argument and the substantive points in the thesis, however, remain unchanged. The dissertation was completed at the end of 1976, and I believe has already begun to stand the test of time. Since its completion, further material has appeared and various events have taken place which have served to reinforce some of the conclusions reached in it. I refer, for example, to recent important Government defeats in the Commons which help bear out the relevance of my concluding point in Chapter 10 . . .

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