politics

Matthew Goodwin is probably in hiding from people demanding that he eats a book, but I can’t help but notice that he massively buries the lede in this paper on the elections. In table 1, his multivariate regression for the change in turnout, Model 3, has the following result. What leaps out at you there?…

Read More Three waves of political mobilisation: the SNP, Brexit, and Labour

Nick Timothy so on Conservative Home: Ironically, the Prime Minister is the one political leader who understands this division, and who has been working to address it since she became Prime Minister last July. The Conservative election campaign, however, failed to get this and Theresa’s positive plan for the future across. It also failed to…

Read More The Election in Data and Software

There’s a common argument around that claims something like this: If Bernie Sanders had been the Democratic candidate, he’d have faced a terrible monstering from the press, and would therefore have lost the election. I think it is seriously misleading. Let’s unpack the argument a bit. The point about the terrible monstering from the press…

Read More You can’t opt out of negative campaigning

OK, so an interesting point came up on twitter regarding former Belgian PM Guy Verhofstadt, aka Europe’s Mr Brexit Except For The Other One. Isn’t one of the problems here that British politicians are socialised into a relatively simple kind of state? Basically unitary, usually with a strong executive government, powerful party whips, and unambiguous…

Read More The turn to neo-Edwardian politics

It’s that time of year again! It seems quite odd that we’re actually having one, given the utterly unrecognisable swirling madness of 2016, but the public finances are one of those things that keeps going under the most unlikely of circumstances. So let’s pretend everything is normal. Here are my considered predictions for the 2016…

Read More predictions for the #autumnstatement

Turned down by Politico Europe for being too local The populist threat is on everyone’s mind, whether from Brexit, Trump, Le Pen, or the AfD. In the UK, it’s been argued in a classic twitterstorm that Labour’s Northern heartlands are especially threatened, precisely because they’re “the heartlands” – ultra-safe parliamentary seats and city councils where…

Read More Bradford: Populism And After

There are some books I re-read regularly. Hunter Thompson’s Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 is one; I read it every time there’s a presidential election on. In 2008, the first time around, it was a ghastly memento mori for the failure of a great movement campaign, and also a reassuring reminder of…

Read More Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 1972, in 2016

Chuka Umunna is apparently off to Boston, Lincolnshire to understand Brexit. He should save himself the journey. You can understand Boston really well from the simple fact that it has elected a Labour MP – indeed anything other than a Conservative – precisely once in history, immediately after the First World War. It’s really conservative.…

Read More Please stop looking for Labour voters in the Fens. They never existed

One thing the referendum campaign has cheered me up about, paradoxically, is the social acceptability of outright racism. One thing it’s profoundly depressed me about is the social acceptability of outright bullshit. Consider the Leavers’ arguments about immigration. If you’re not going to make some essentialist argument that foreigners are just bad – i.e. to…

Read More The public rejects racism, but sadly you can’t say the same for bullshit