British voters now dislike both main parties

Time to separate the noise from the signal. Polling headlines often pick out the noise—dramatic changes that might be short-term, or reflect sampling fluctuations, or both—rather than the signal: the underlying state of public opinion, which conveys more significant messages. Two polls in recent days point in different directions. YouGov’s poll in Saturday’s Times reported a “collapse” … Continue reading British voters now dislike both main parties

Post-Covid, the Tories’ 2019 manifesto still matters. Will their broken promises come back to haunt them?

Election manifestos are like the small print on the guarantees that come with television sets, toasters and other such purchases. Much time and effort is spent getting right the words that hardly any of us ever read. Still, most of us know that the small print in a purchase matters. It establishes the contractual relationship … Continue reading Post-Covid, the Tories’ 2019 manifesto still matters. Will their broken promises come back to haunt them?

Voters, including many smokers, want tough action to make tobacco history

This blog takes me back to an old hunting ground, when I was President of YouGov and a trustee of ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) – and YouGov first conducted major annual survey for ASH. This year’s survey assessed public attitudes to the Government’s declared ambition to reduce the number of smokers to 5 … Continue reading Voters, including many smokers, want tough action to make tobacco history

Global Britain versus Modest Britain: why Boris Johnson’s ambition is doomed to fail

Boris Johnson talks frequently of his ambitions for “global Britain”. He wants the United Kingdom, post-Brexit, to play a great role round the world. In a Government report published in March, he said that this is vital for the UK’s “safety and prosperity”, and definitely not a “vainglorious gesture”. How seriously should we take Britain’s … Continue reading Global Britain versus Modest Britain: why Boris Johnson’s ambition is doomed to fail

Why progressive parties have lost ground around the world

Are the glory days over for social democracy? Do voters now take for granted the great progressive reforms of the post-war era – pensions, education, healthcare, social insurance etc – and see no need to continue supporting the parties that first championed them? Two weeks ago I explored the long-term roots of Labour’s decline here … Continue reading Why progressive parties have lost ground around the world

Labour’s crisis has been decades in the making

Two rival theories have sought to explain Labour’s drubbing in last week’s elections. The Left accuses Keir Starmer of deserting the party’s socialist principles. The leadership fears that the party has not changed enough: it needs to shed the ideological baggage that make it look elitist and metropolitan. I believe both theories are wrong. They … Continue reading Labour’s crisis has been decades in the making

Tory, SNP hopes? Labour, Lib Dem fears? A Green shock? How to make sense of next week’s elections

I admit it: my past election predictions have not always been perfect. Here, though, is one that I make with confidence. Over the weekend of May 8-9, as we digest the results of next week’s elections, all the main political parties will tell us that they have done better than they expected. They will, of … Continue reading Tory, SNP hopes? Labour, Lib Dem fears? A Green shock? How to make sense of next week’s elections