Page last updated at 15:26 GMT, Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Shadow cabinet

The shadow cabinet is made up of senior members from the chief opposition party, who have been allocated responsibility for "shadowing" the work of one of the members of the real cabinet.

The opposition leader assigns specific portfolios according to the ability, seniority and popularity of the shadow cabinet's members.

Shadow cabinet members thereby gain an insight into the management of government departments that could stand them in good stead if they were to win a general election.

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