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?
Author: Peter Kellner
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
1945, 2022: respected PM, shame about his party
Something old, something new. Over the decades, pollsters have tracked the fortunes of parties and their leaders. They tend to rise and fall broadly together—but not precisely. In the late 1990s, Labour was popular, but Tony Blair more so; in recent times, when Labour’s ratings were bad, Jeremy Corbyn’s were worse. What’s new is the … Continue reading 1945, 2022: respected PM, shame about his party
The Tories can now win – the election after next
Will history repeat itself? In 1995, Labour enjoyed leads of more than 30 points over the Conservatives, just as it does today. Two years later Tony Blair led his party to a landslide victory. Are we heading for a repeat? Here are three reasons for Labour caution. Some of the current dislike of the Tories … Continue reading The Tories can now win – the election after next
This time Labour really has turned the tide
Something has changed, and it’s not just the way the Conservatives have collapsed. The other half of the story could matter even more. It is the recovery of the Labour Party. Until this autumn, the likeliest result of the next election was a hung parliament and a minority Labour government. To win outright, Labour needs … Continue reading This time Labour really has turned the tide
33%? 17%? What is Labour’s real lead?
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?
Fair votes: good for Britain, bad for Labour
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
King Charles, the monarchy and public opinion
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
Liz Truss and the crisis of Conservatism
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