Almost 14 million people voted Conservative at the last election. How many of them would vote Conservative today? Just five million, says YouGov; up to eight million say its rivals. Both are dreadful figures for the Tories, but the gulf between them is extraordinary. It’s this gulf that lies behind the huge differences in the … Continue reading 33%? 17%? What is Labour’s real lead?
I have changed my mind. For more than forty years I have argued against Britain using proportional voting to elect its MPs. I saw benefits in a system in which MPs answered to local constituents, and governments were chosen by voters on election day, not by politicians cobbling together coalitions in the weeks afterwards. Those … Continue reading Fair votes: good for Britain, bad for Labour
In our democratic age, no monarch could survive a determined push by voters to dispense with the royal family. Bearing that in mind, what is the state of public opinion – and should it worry the new King? At first sight, the figures suggest he has nothing to fear. For three decades, Ipsos (formerly Mori) … Continue reading King Charles, the monarchy and public opinion
That Liz Truss takes the helm during a cost-of-living crisis is well known. That she will throw money at it is obvious, even if we must wait a day or two to find out how much money, in what way, and to whom. But there is a bigger crisis she faces—one she shows no signs … Continue reading Liz Truss and the crisis of Conservatism
Boris Johnson is clear what he wants his legacy to be. In his resignation speech on July 7, his most prominent boast was his success in “getting Brexit done, settling our relations with the continent after half a century and reclaiming the power for this country to make its own laws in parliament”. The trouble … Continue reading Most voters say Boris Johnson failed to “get Brexit done”
If Liz Truss pays any attention to history, she should be worried. When she becomes Prime Minister next week (now a racing certainty) she will be the fourth party leader to be elected against the wishes of the party’s MPs. Here is what happened to the other three. 2001: Grassroots Conservatives elected Iain Duncan Smith; … Continue reading Liz Truss’s honeymoon may already be over
We shall come to the future of British politics in a moment; but first a story. It comes from John Barry, a colleague of mine on the Sunday Times when I started out in journalism. John was one of the paper’s most effective investigative journalists. In the early Seventies he uncovered the way the Greek … Continue reading Memo to Truss: remain the queen of U-turns
If the Conservative leadership contest were a football match, last night’s TV debate was the first skirmish of the second half. With her 24 per cent lead in the latest YouGov poll of party members, Liz Truss arrived at the debate with the equivalent of w two goal lead. Not surprisingly, she played defence, doing … Continue reading Last night’s TV debate: Truss got the draw she needed
Liz Truss is campaigning as a committed Brexiter to become Conservative leader. Six years ago, her view was different. She was then Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. On May 16, 2016, five weeks before the Brexit referendum, she delivered a speech, which can be viewed on YouTube, to the Food and … Continue reading The day Liz Truss told the truth about Brexit
A question that shrewd Conservative MPs will be asking themselves this week is: which of the candidates for the party leadership will Labour fear most? Here is the poling evidence we have so far. Last week both Opinium and YouGov asked respondents to rate each of the contenders they expected to stand. Opinium asked whether … Continue reading Who Labour wants as Tory leader – and who it fears
A vital quality at the heart of many dramas – fictional, sporting or political – is jeopardy. The audience takes sides, between characters, teams or parties, and is kept in suspense for as long as possible as to the outcome. If we have a stake in the result, as fan or voter, the drama is … Continue reading Can the new Tory leader escape Johnson’s toxic legacy?
Talk of a hung parliament is heating up. “Coalition of chaos” warn the Conservatives. No deal with the SNP, says Keir Starmer. How would ihings play out in practice? Not as the Tories say. Here's why. In the run-up to the 2015 election, the Tories hope portrayed Ed Miliband, Labour’s then leader, as the likely … Continue reading “Coalition of chaos”? Fear not. It won’t happen