Here is some free advice to Conservatives who want to bring back Boris Johnson: don’t. Deltapoll has compared his reputation with those of his party, Rishi Sunak, Keir Starmer and the Labour Party. The results are clear. His ratings are worse than those of Sunak; he is as unpopular as his party – which means … Continue reading Why the Tories would be mad to bring back Boris
Scotland will change after Sturgeon. So might Westminster
The facts have not yet changed; so I have not yet changed my mind. But they might; and if they do, I will. In a recent analysis for Prospect I looked at the votes Labour needed to win the next election. On a uniform swing, I estimated that Labour needs a lead of 6 per cent to be … Continue reading Scotland will change after Sturgeon. So might Westminster
Wanted: big ideas to fix broken Britain
Any serious analysis of the UK’s current condition starts with Brexit; and so will the argument that follows. But, as we shall see, Britain’s problems don’t end there – and, indeed, didn’t begin there; and leading politicians seem nervous about rising to the challenge of solving them.. Seven years ago the most famous bus in … Continue reading Wanted: big ideas to fix broken Britain
Should the Tories be worried by Reform – and Labour by the Greens?
Last time it didn’t matter; next time it might matter a lot. The best analysis of the 2019 election result found that the Brexit Party cost the Conservatives 25 seats. However, as Boris Johnson’s majority was 80 without those seats, the Brexit Party, which won no seats of its own, failed to achieve Nigel Farage’s … Continue reading Should the Tories be worried by Reform – and Labour by the Greens?
Figuring out the next election
I have bad news for those who complain, as I’m told Aneurin Bevan once did, that statistics take the poetry out of politics. The analysis that follows is mainly about numbers. There is a reason for this. The outcome of the next election—who will win, and how well—will depend on the way thirty-plus million votes … Continue reading Figuring out the next election
Labour voters want pragmatism, not ideology
When Keir Starmer stood for Labour’s leadership three years ago, he made ten campaign pledges. This was pledge number five: Common Ownership; Public services should be in public hands, not making profits for shareholders. Support common ownership of rail, mail, energy and water; end outsourcing in our NHS, local government and justice system. This is … Continue reading Labour voters want pragmatism, not ideology
A new year fantasy of a better politics
Let us start with some good news about climate change. No, I cannot unveil some secret analysis showing that global warming is slowing down, or that targets for the future are well within reach. The COP meetings in Glasgow and Sharm-el-Sheikh made less progress than the planet requires. The good news, however, is that the … Continue reading A new year fantasy of a better politics
And did those feet in ancient time suffer from frostbite?
Here is a question to ponder during the winter break in politics. Should the lull be as long as it is? Parliament has a recess of almost three weeks and, by tacit agreement, no elections take place in January. So not only do we enjoy a festive silence from the politicians; for a few precious … Continue reading And did those feet in ancient time suffer from frostbite?
Chester by-election: not as good as it looks for Labour
If the swing in the Chester by-election were repeated throughout Britain, Labour would have a majority of around 50. In that sense, the party can claim to be on course for a comfortable victory at the next election. “Repeated throughout Britain….” Those words, or something similar, are uttered by every opposition party after every mid-term … Continue reading Chester by-election: not as good as it looks for Labour
The curious case of Brexit, the King and the tipping point
Let us start with a curious thing about the week Queen Elizabeth died, for it has lessons for the current state of British politics, and not just our constitutional arrangements. Like the dog in the night, the curious thing is what didn’t happen. For years, polls had found that only one person in three wanted … Continue reading The curious case of Brexit, the King and the tipping point
Cautious words now, bold action later: a Labour plan for Brexit
Here is a thought experiment. Suppose Keir Starmer and his closest shadow cabinet allies were to meet for an awayday, at the highest levels and in the utmost privacy, to discuss the party’s policy as we approach the next election, and set itself the following exam question: leaving side the words to be written in … Continue reading Cautious words now, bold action later: a Labour plan for Brexit
The man who transformed the study of elections
If Cambridge had had a politics department in the 1960s, I might never have become a pollster. In those days, it did not really regard politics as a proper subject at all, merely a minor component of a degree in economics, the subject I was studying. And because it lacked its own experts in British … Continue reading The man who transformed the study of elections