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Cabinet Reshuffles and Parliamentary No-Confidence Motions

Fleming, Thomas G; Gonzalez-Bustamante, Bastian; Schleiter, Petra; (2022) Cabinet Reshuffles and Parliamentary No-Confidence Motions. Government and Opposition 10.1017/gov.2022.23. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

How do cabinet reshuffles affect the parliamentary opposition's use of no-confidence motions in the government? Opposition parties employ no-confidence motions as electoral signals to highlight government incompetence and to position themselves as a government in waiting. We argue that cabinet reshuffles – which prime ministers use to respond to policy failures, scandals, poor ministerial performance and disloyalty – present an opportunity for the opposition to deploy no-confidence motions to this end. The incentives to deploy this strategy, however, are contingent on the nature of the party system and are greatest where party-system concentration positions a single opposition party as the alternative to the government and sole beneficiary of a no-confidence vote. We test this expectation using a multilevel modelling approach applied to data on reshuffles in 316 governments and 16 parliamentary democracies, and find support for our expectation: cabinet reshuffles raise the probability of no-confidence motions conditional on party-system concentration.

Type: Article
Title: Cabinet Reshuffles and Parliamentary No-Confidence Motions
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/gov.2022.23
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1017/gov.2022.23
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Social Sciences, Political Science, Government & Law, cabinet reshuffles, no-confidence motions, parliamentary democracy, party-system fragmentation, BRITISH PRIME MINISTERS, PERFORMANCE, INSTABILITY, DELEGATION, IMPACT, POWER
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10154109
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