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

Brexit: will Boris Johnson betray hardline Tory MPs?

As Winston Churchill famously said, jaw-jaw is better than war-war. However, jaw-jaw is less exciting, which is why the latest news about relations between Britain and the European Union has passed most people by. In three separate areas, confidential discussions have been proposed to resolve tricky issues. Any or all may yet founder. Even if … Continue reading Brexit: will Boris Johnson betray hardline Tory MPs?