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Political parties and pressure groups both have similar aims, to get a policy or piece of legislation blocked or passed, however pressure groups can do this through protest and sometimes illegal methods, such as the student protests against tuition fees. Also parties seek governmental power, whereas pressure groups do not seek power, however some may put up candidates as independents such as Richard Thomas Taylor, who was MP for Kidderminster for 9 years after his campaign to save the A&E there, in addition some pressure groups may be converting themselves into Political Parties such as UKIP. Parties adopt policies across a full range of government responsibility; Pressure groups usually focus on single issues or a cluster of issues, on a narrow scale, although some pressure groups such as trade unions develop a wide range of policies. Parties have to be accountable for their policies, Pressure Groups don't pressure groups should be accountable to their members. Finally parties must behave in a reasonable way, some pressure groups may act illegally or promote civil disobedience, some pressure groups work so closely with parties and government It is difficult to distinguish between the two, a prime example is the NFU

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Because both are formal organisations with specific goals, engages in campaigns to achieve them, often using similar methods and seeking to influence the political system; however there are crucial differences between them.

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Q: Why is it sometimes difficult to distinguish between pressure groups and political parties?
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Many a times, pressure groups are either formed or led by one or the other top leaders of the political parties.For ex- Trade union, workers organisations are some pressure groups which either established or affliated to one or the other political parties. THeir leaders are either activists or leaders of the pressure groups.Sometimes, political parties emerge out of the pressure groups. For ex= when the assam movement led by the students came to an end, it led to the formation of ASOM GANA PARISHED.The root parties like the DMK and the AIADMK in tamil nadu can be traced to a long-drawn social reform movement during the 1930s and the 1940s.hope it helps... :)these two parts show direct relationship among political parties and pressure groups.INDIRECT RELATIONSHIP :--In some cases, the relationship between the pressure groups are not so direct. They may take positions that are opposed to each other.Yet they are in dialogue and negotiation. The political parties arise issues that are taken up by the political parties.Most of the leadership in political parties come from pressure groups or movements....

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The objective of political parties is to attain power and form the government, whereas the aim of pressure groups is only to influence the decision-making of the government

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