Comparing the dynamics of party leadership survival in Britain and Australia: Brown, Rudd and Gillard

Bennister, M. and Heppell, T. (2014) Comparing the dynamics of party leadership survival in Britain and Australia: Brown, Rudd and Gillard. Government And Opposition. ISSN 0017-257X.


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This article examines the interaction between the respective party structures of the Australian Labor Party and the British Labour Party as a means of assessing the strategic options facing aspiring challengers for the party leadership. Noting the relative neglect within the scholarly literature on examining forced exits that occur; and attempted forced exits that do not occur, this article takes as its case study the successful forced exits of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, and the failure to remove Gordon Brown. In doing so the article challenges the prevailing assumption that the likely success of leadership evictions are solely determined by the leadership procedures that parties adopt. Noting the significance of circumstances and party cultures, the article advances two scenarios through which eviction attempts can be understood: first, forced exits triggered through the activation of formal procedures (Rudd and Gillard); second, attempts to force an exit by informal pressures outside of the formal procedures which are overcome by the incumbent (Brown).

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This version has been accepted for publication and will appear in a revised form subsequent to peer review.
Subjects: J Political Science
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences
Depositing User: Dr Mark Bennister
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2015 13:18
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2016 14:55

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00