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AQA A-level POLITICS Paper 1 Government and politics of the UK

Paper 1 Government and politics of the UK

Thursday 21 May 2020 Morning Time allowed: 2 hours
For this paper you must have:
• an AQA 12-page answer book.

• Use black ink or black ball-point pen.
• Write the information required on the front of your answer book. The Paper Reference is 7152/1.
• Answer all questions from Section A and Section B.
• Answer one question from Section C.
• Do all rough work in your answer book. Cross through any work you do not want to be marked.
• If you use more than one answer book, check that you have written the information required on each book.

• The marks for questions are shown in brackets.
• The maximum mark for this paper is 77.

Section A – Short Questions

Answer questions 1, 2 and 3.

Explain and analyse three ways in which judicial independence is upheld in the UK.
[9 marks]

Explain and analyse three influences upon individual MPs when voting in the House of Commons.
[9 marks]

Explain and analyse three circumstances under which referendums have been held in the UK.
[9 marks]

Section B – Extract Question

Read the extract below and answer question 4 that follows.

How democratic is interest group activity in the UK?

Pluralism represents the view that different groups can compete equally for power and influence. Elections only give policy makers a limited idea of public opinion. Joining a pressure group demonstrates commitment to a cause and may give the group legitimacy with politicians. Some groups have memberships in the millions. Going on strike or marching in a demonstration indicates a higher level of commitment still.

Interest groups allow citizens to influence policy makers in between elections and they provide useful and relatively reliable information to them. Parliamentary processes provide opportunities for interest group activity. To remain influential though, groups must be non-confrontational and express their views responsibly and legally.

However, there are clear inequalities in the ability of different groups to have an influence upon the decision-making process. Governments have a strong record of ignoring some groups, whilst others often have the ear of policy makers.

Elite groups find a way to buy political power and, according to the British political journalist Robert Peston, the voices of the super-wealthy are regularly listened to by politicians. Some groups have access to professional lobbyists and American academic, Charles Lindblom, expressed concerns about the privileged position of business. MPs and peers are able to accept jobs outside of Parliament and take money from well-funded interests. This has led to a succession of scandals and some restrictions on lobbying.

Passage adapted from a report published in the 2018 Audit of UK democracy. Democratic Audit is an independent research unit based in the Government Department of the London School of Economics. Robert Peston is the political editor for ITV. Charles Lindblom was an academic in Economics and Politics.

Analyse, evaluate and compare the arguments in the above extract regarding the advantages and disadvantages of the roles played by interest groups within pluralist democracy in the UK.
[25 marks]

Turn over for Section C

Turn over ►

Section C – Essay Question

Answer either question 5 or question 6.

In your answer you should draw on material from across the whole range of your course of study in Politics.


0 5

‘The United Kingdom now has a multi-party system.’ Analyse and evaluate this statement.

[25 marks]


‘Party leaders are of decisive importance in the winning or losing of general elections.’ Analyse and evaluate this statement.
[25 marks]


Copyright information

For confidentiality purposes, acknowledgements of third-party copyright material are published in a separate booklet. This booklet is published after each live examination series and is available for free download from www.aqa.org.uk.
Permission to reproduce all copyright material has been applied for. In some cases, efforts to contact copyright-holders may have been unsuccessful and AQA will be happy to rectify any omissions of acknowledgements. If you have any queries please contact the Copyright Team.

Copyright © 2020 AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved.


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