Tag Archives: Sir Robert Peel

Minority governments and major change: a Victorian view

For most modern commentators the prospects for minority governments, based on the experience of the last half century or so, don’t look particularly good. Nearly all the recent examples currently being revisited by analysts, such as those of the 1970s, … Continue reading

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Local polls and general elections: a Victorian perspective

As barometers of political opinion, local elections have long had a special place in British politics, offering useful (though not necessarily accurate) guides to national trends. The link between local and national polls, however, has always been complicated. As the … Continue reading

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MP of the Month: Edward Lucas and the administration of Ireland, 1841-5

Edward Lucas was already an experienced parliamentarian when in September 1841 he was appointed under-secretary for Ireland, a post which for at least three-quarters of the year made the holder ‘the executive of Ireland’. In practice the political head of … Continue reading

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MP of the month: Rowland Alston (1782-1865)

Rowland Alston’s career provides a useful illustration of just how diverse (and to a modern eye incongruous) the political outlook of MPs in the same party could be before the development of more formal modern political allegiances. It also serves … Continue reading

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Wiping the slate: some laws recently repealed

Last week (31 Jan. 2013) saw the enactment of the Statute Laws Repeal Act, a legislative initiative aimed at tidying up the UK’s statute book by repealing a host of obsolete and defunct laws, ranging from the 1500s to the present … Continue reading

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‘Register, register, register!’: political activity in October

In modern politics the month of October is usually dominated by coverage of the major party conferences. In Victorian times, it was the stand-off between the political parties in the voter registration courts, famously immortalised by Peel’s call to ‘register, … Continue reading

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