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Title: Explanations for the growth of Euroscepticism in the Parliamentary Conservative Party
Author: Moore, Timothy Luke
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis investigates why the Conservative Parliamentary party became more Eurosceptic between 1992-2016. It uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods in seeking to answer two main research questions. Firstly, why did MPs adopt Eurosceptic positions? Secondly, why did the party become more Eurosceptic over time? It is argued that the answer to both these questions can be explained by elite driven politics within the Conservative Party. On the first research question, MPs' positions have primarily been affected by their ideologies and their prospects of promotion. Electoral factors such as Eurosceptic constituencies and pressure from UKIP have been of less importance. In relation to the second research question, the data suggests that the party became more Eurosceptic because of both new Eurosceptic MPs entering the house and existing MPs becoming more Eurosceptic. The reason new Conservative MPs tended to be Eurosceptics was primarily that Eurosceptics dominated the talent pool of potential Conservative candidates. The selection decisions of constituency associations and the voting behaviour of the electorate had a relatively limited effect on the ideological composition of the Parliamentary party. MPs became more Eurosceptic during their Parliamentary career because of the internal politics of Parliament and developments at the EU level of government.
Supervisor: Hine, David Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: British Politics