Cardiff’s Professor Scully launches book documenting the end of British party politics

by George Cook

This week saw the official launch of Cardiff University Professor Roger Awan-Scully’s new book: The End of British Party Politics.

It has received glowing reviews from politicians and journalists alike such as Matt Forde, Neil Kinnock and Stephen Bush of the New Statesman.

At the book’s launch event, Professor Scully – who was named Political Communicator of the Year by the Political Studies Association in December – appeared in conversation with BBC Wales journalist Felicity Evans.

Scully answered questions on some of the key themes of his book such as the recent fragmentation of the political system and the unity of Great Britain.

Less about party politics, more about regionalism

Professor Scully stated how there is arguably now more differences between the regions and their political systems.

“Ruth Davidson was the front of the campaign for the Scottish Conservatives and they made their campaign about one issue: independence”, Scully stated.

“This was a very smart thing to do, it was a direct challenge to the Scottish National Party.”

A trend also experienced in Wales

He said it was also a similar situation for Labour in Wales under the leadership of Carwyn Jones.

When asked at the event whether last year’s General Election was indicative of a return to two party politics, Professor Scully responded: “I would be cautious about saying there is a return to two party politics. There are fewer people now who strongly identify with one party, and we also have the SNP doing very well in Scotland.”

However, he did note how the Liberal Democrats are still struggling and how UKIP is “becoming some kind of death cult”

Professor Scully's book, The End of British Party Politics. Source: Amazon.co.uk

A look to an unpredictable future

The book looks to explain some of the recent trends, but it also seeks to look at the bigger picture and where we may be heading in the future.

Whilst the future in politics is almost impossible to predict – especially under the current climate – Roger Awan-Scully offers an interesting and detailed look at what things may look like in a decade or two nationally and locally.

As Professor Scully says himself, “so much has happened that seemed previously unlikely.”

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