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Convergence on Crisis? Comparing Labour and Conservative Party Framing of the Economic Crisis in Britain, 2008-14

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>14/06/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Politics and Policy
Issue number3
Volume44
Number of pages27
Pages (from-to)577-603
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date14/06/16
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Since the 1980s, Britain's two largest political parties have been converging ever closer on the political spectrum, in line with a Downsian model of two party majoritarian systems. While both Labour and the Conservatives have been moving toward consensus, we investigate the extent to which the recent financial crisis, understood as a critical juncture, interrupted this movement. Using a “fuzzy set” ideal type analysis with claims‐making data, we assess whether or not we can detect any signs of this consensus breaking down as a result of the crisis and the events which followed. Our results show that despite this most critical event, consensus was maintained as we found both parties adopting very similar framing and narrating strategies on the economic crisis in their public discourse. The study concludes that the shared discursive framing and narrating between both parties on the crisis demonstrates a continued Thatcherite, neoliberal consensus in British politics.