Journal article

Party Differences and Spatial Representation: The Irish Case

R Sinnott

British Journal of Political Science | Published : 1986


‘The Irish party system is unique. In no other European polity does a small number of programmatically indistinguishable parties, each commanding heterogeneous electoral support, constitute the entire party system.’ This bold statement is merely a particularly forthright expression of a commonly held view about political parties in the Republic of Ireland. This view is understandable given that the formal casus belli between the two major parties was the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921; surely this issue must at some stage have been overtaken by events. In the revised edition of his standard text on Irish politics, Chubb points to the year 1948 as the date by which the ‘issues which had split Sin..

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