This book contains a critical analysis of the law and politics governing the conduct of statutory elections in the United Kingdom.
The author argues that elections have now become a marketplace for 'buying' the most seemingly attractive political party on offer into power, rather than an expression of democratic self-government. Thematically arranged, he considers a number of issues dating from before the Civil War through nineteenth century reforms to the foundation of the Electoral Commission and up to their paper 'Securing the Vote' published in 2005. The book
Framing the debate for the Electoral Administration Bill 2005, it contains, amongst other legal analysis, analyses leading cases, including:
- Sanders v Chichester
- R v Jones
- R v Whicher; ex parte Mainwaring
- In re Fermanagh and South Tyrone.
The author presents an argument for a radical reappraisal of election law which involves, rather than excludes the self-governing citizenry, suggesting that election law, perhaps above all other kinds of law, should be the subject of vigorous and open public debate.
Table of Contents
Introduction. The Right to Vote. The Mechanism of Voting. Nomination of a Candidate. Election Expenses. Challenging the Result of an Election. The Problem of Marketized Politics and a Possible Solution
'His(Watt's) assessment is insightful, and there is a great deal here that should be of interest to scholars of election law, inside and outside the UK.' - The Law and Politics Book Review, Vol.16 No.6
'Watt is a persuasive advocate and his book offers a valuable guide to recent developments in British election law.' - Lori Ringhand, University of Kentucky College of Law, Lexington, KY USA