The 2010 General Election marked a turning-point in British politics, with a new coalition government replacing the Labour administration that had been in power for 13 years. This resulted in an apparent change in policy on the third sector, from a period of ‘hyperactive mainstreaming’
in which significant support was provided for the sector to the ‘Big Society’ agenda under which voluntary and community action are promoted as an alternative to state intervention. This article explores this transition through analysis of the presentation of third sector politics in the election
campaign and the subsequent development of these under the new government, providing an insight into the relationships between electoral politics and policy development within the United Kingdom.
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