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However, we may also see the 1922 Committee in some ways as a means of managing dissent, since it tends to support the leadership publicly despite the discussions that go on behind closed doors. Nevertheless, it seems that the leadership cannot ignore advice from the 1922 Committee, and it is formally charged with the responsibility of conducting elections for the leadership. The election of the leader The existence of internal party elections also belies to an extent the wholly hierarchial thesis.

The election of the leader The existence of internal party elections also belies to an extent the wholly hierarchial thesis. The key elections do, however, have a rather select franchise: members of Parliament. That said, these elections serve as an agent of accountability to an extent, so should not be dismissed. Perhaps the most important internal election within the Conservative Party is that for the leadership. Prior to Edward Heath's election in 1965, leaders of the Conservative Party resigned or died and new leaders 'emerged'.

Secondly, and more familiarly, there is the party model. Here the representative is a supporter primarily of the party, elected on the party manifesto and therefore bound to obey its broad programme, regardless of the interests of his or her electors. Again, representation is compromised. On the other hand, this may be seen in another way as providing representation, since it can be argued that electors vote for the party programme first and the representative second. Thus in this instance the representative is providing representation for those at least that voted for his or her party.

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