The Power Inquiry On The Uk Essay

1027 Words Feb 2nd, 2016 5 Pages
In recent years there has been a great deal of debate about a supposed participation crisis in the UK, due to historically low turnout levels in the 2001, 2005, and 2010 General Elections. The POWER Inquiry is helpful in this situation as it is an investigation into the state of political participation in the UK initiated by the Joseph Rowntree Trust. The POWER Inquiry resulted in the publication of the POWER Report. The POWER inquiry offers the most accessible recent snapshot of political participation. The main conclusion drawn from the inquiry was that the popular disillusionment with democratic institutions and the main political parties requires urgent attention. However, due to the changing nature of participation, as well as the decline in voter turnout, it is clear that there is reasonable cause for concern regarding political participation.

The decline in party membership is a key contributor to the alleged participation crisis. For example, in 1992, there were 500,000 Conservative party members – yet recently in 2010, there was a sharp decline to just 177,000 members. The Labour party also experienced a decrease in party membership as in 2001, the party had 272,000 members, however in 2010 this had fallen to 193,000. The decrease in membership suggests a participation crisis as less and less people are taking an interest in parties, thus hinting at class and partisan dealignment. Another main sign that there is a participation crisis comes in the form of the Royal…

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