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The Prime Ministers' CraftWhy Some Succeed and Others Fail in Westminster Systems$
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Patrick Weller

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199646203

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199646203.001.0001

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Prime Ministers, Party, and Parliament

Prime Ministers, Party, and Parliament

(p.180) 7 Prime Ministers, Party, and Parliament
The Prime Ministers' Craft

Patrick Weller

Oxford University Press

If they are to keep their job, prime ministers need to maintain support in their party and a majority in the parliament. They need to actively work among their colleagues to keep them on side. In Britain rebellion on the floor of the House reflects the divisions within ruling parties. In the other three countries, prime ministers can be assured that their MPs will vote with them but they can be assailed in the weekly party room meeting where criticisms can be fierce and where dissenting views will be expressed directly to cabinet members. This chapter explores how prime minister intersect with their parliamentary supporters and the ways they try to ensure continued support. It examines the way prime ministers prepare for that setpiece drama, prime minister’s questions. It shows how different institutional arrangements ensured a range of strategies, not all successful, were needed.

Keywords:   Prime ministers, party meetings, parliament, question time, accountability

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