Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Acceptance of Party Unity in Parliamentary Democracies$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

David M. Willumsen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198805434

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198805434.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 11 May 2021

The Puzzle of Backbench Assent

The Puzzle of Backbench Assent

(p.1) 1 The Puzzle of Backbench Assent
The Acceptance of Party Unity in Parliamentary Democracies

David M. Willumsen

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the two aims of the book. First, how to measure the role played by policy preferences for achieving party unity in floor votes, that is, to what extent parliamentary parties are united because legislators in them agree with each other and disagree those from other parties. Second, how to explain the gap between the parliamentary floor voting unity expected based on preferences alone, and what is observed. In other words, why do MPs do not always vote their pure preferences? The chapter introduces the key question: Does this happen because of a desire for re-election and promotion, or because of the long-term benefits of belonging to the united party? The chapter then discusses the benefits, costs, and sources of party unity, and the insights that can be gained from studying attitudes to party unity.

Keywords:   parties as non-unitary actors, MPs’ policy preferences, attitudes to unity, legislators’ motivations, floor voting unity

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .