Making social science accessible

19 Jan 2024

How do opposition parties prepare for power?

Power changes hands overnight following a general election. Shadow ministers go from running small offices to being in charge of thousands of civil servants. Their advisers become all-powerful special advisers operating at the heart of government. And the leader of the opposition moves from an office in Parliament to 10 Downing Street, instantly handed the levers of power and a Rolodex of the world’s most important people. So how can oppositions prepare for such a massive change? What goes wrong if they don’t? And with Labour 20 points ahead in the polls, what does Keir Starmer need to do to get ready for the possibility government?

On this week’s episode of The Expert Factor, the team explore how transitions of power work in the UK, the importance of access talks with the civil service, and key lessons from past elections – and parties that did, or didn’t, prepare for government.


THE EXPERT FACTOR is the podcast for people who haven’t had enough of experts. Each week the directors of three leading and respected think tanks – Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Hannah White of the Institute for Government, and Anand Menon of UK in a Changing Europe – get together to discuss, debate and explain the big questions and themes that will shape the election – and the political landscape for years to come.

Produced by Milo Hynes

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