By Zig Layton-Henry
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Extra info for Conservative Politics in Western Europe
In this chapter some of the traditional features of British Conservative politics will be examined; but attention will also be paid to recent changes at the levels of party ideology, organisation and electoral strategy in order to illuminate the character of the modern party. And, although the full implications of the changes cannot be explored exhaustively in the space of a chapter, it is important to bear in mind that alterations in the internal politics of a major British party may have profound effects not merely on the party system as a whole but also on the whole constitutional environment.
Northern England and especially the large industrial towns of the north, Scotland and Wales are very much minority interests in the contemporary Conservative party; and although the Ulster Unionist party was formally allied to the Conservatives untill974 the course of Ulster policy has caused them to sever that link. 3 shows how the geographical distribution of Conservative seats has changed since 1955. Of course it could be argued that the southern part of England is the most populous part of the country and that the Conservatives should not worry if their strength is increasingly concentrated there.
139. 40. A. Mughan, 'The Failure of Conservative Politics in Belgium', ch. 7 in this book; G. Pridham, 'Christian Democrats, Conservatives and Transnational Party Cooperation', ch. 13 in this book. 41. Although some Christian democratic leaders are more open in admitting their conservatism. See R. ', West European Politics, (Winter 1979). 42. M. Fogarty, op. cit. R. Irving, Christian Democratic Parties in Western Europe (London: Allen & Unwin, 1979). 43. M. Fogarty, op. cit. 44. , p. 108. The Dutch Catholic People's party has recently merged in the new Christian Democratic Alliance.