Labour’s difficulty pulling ahead

The latest opinion polls show Labour’s small lead seems fairly consistent but it remains too small for them to have any confidence in achieving a majority. Ironically despite their currently pathetic level of support the most likely scenario remains the Liberal Democrats holding the balance of power. At one level this failure of the Labour Party to be further ahead is surprising. David Cameron has never captured the public imagination and both he and his government continue to be seen … Read more

#EP14 campaign squeezing the Labour vote in Britain?

Mike Smithson at PoliticalBetting…  My reading is that EdM and his team are paying the price for not having a clear message for the Euro elections. Their campaign has almost totally avoided any mention of the EU unlike the other three parties competing for votes which each have specific and relevant positions. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest … Read more

Milliband removes EU referendum from Labour’s agenda…

Shrewd argument from Lord Ashcroft on Milliband’s speech on not calling an EU referendum: My polling has found that Tory voters are twice as likely as Labour voters, and UKIP voters three times as likely, to say that defending Britain’s interests in Europe is one of the most important issues facing the country. Among the reservations that potential Labour voters have about the party – economic competence, opposition to welfare reform, the leader himself – opposition to an EU referendum … Read more

British Labour contemplating a radical change agenda?

Of Irish Labour can offer a cautionary tale to its British cousins it is, that whatever you do do not land yourself in government without a credible plan of action in a time of internationally imposed austerity. Perhaps looking for strategic gains in tackling some of the long term damage of the Thatcher era might be start. Though as John Harris note, it won’t be pretty. He charts a new tough line of thinking emerging from within Labour is well … Read more

2013 elections: the alienation of Freelander man

The local election results in England and Wales (mainly rural England in actual fact) are now in. They are somewhere between a protest vote with little relevance to the next Westminster elections and a complete sea change in British politics. As ever the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. It does, however, illustrate an interesting disconnect between the main parties and significant portions of the electorate. The first thing to remember is that these elections are not national elections. … Read more

What you might do with a Stormont Opposition (1): First, build a Fence?

I have some problems with the kind of demogogic simplification Dan Hodges is talking about here, but it demonstrates a line of Machiavellian thinking that is almost completely missing from Northern Irish politics these days. The parties in power don’t need to resort to it since their potential opponents are junior partners (mudguards in Dublin parlance). In the process he nails what’s been bugging me about Labour under Milliband E for months now: Ed Miliband loves hard thinking. He also … Read more

Is Labour’s route to regaining national trust through ‘foreign policy’?

One way of looking at the 2010 UK general election is that it was one that Labour needed to lose, but as many Tories look back on the 1992 election on the one they might similarly have better lost. Ah but, history never quite repeats itself in the same way twice… Janan Ganesh in the FT has a go though.. the scenario he comes up with is a great deal less sanguine for Labour: There is an undulating rhythm to … Read more

The Coalition’s woes: mid term blues or the times they are a changing?

The backlash to the Labour gains in the council elections seems to be continuing. Some such as William Hague have tired to write the election results off as a typical mid term result (and to be fair although good for Labour they were not a Tory melt down) but others are more concerned. The results have fed into the narrative of the omnishambles and the fear appears to be amongst Tory MPs that a vicious circle of increasing disaster, increasing … Read more

The omni shambles and Labour’s difficulty capatilising

The omni shambles which is the current government seems to continue. I mentioned the disaster which was the budget and the spin surrounding it recently. Jeremy Hunt and his special advisor have yet again shone a spotlight on the relationship between Rupert Murdock’s media empire and politicians (though of course the Tories were far from the only political party with close links to News International – take a bow Alex Salmond). It has been suggested that Hunt is being kept … Read more

Coalition trials and tribulations over budget

The coalition have been having a few weeks of pretty bad media storms. There was the fuel crisis that never was when the government in trying to make people prepare for a possible crisis managed to create one. The government may have thought they were preparing themselves like a mini version of the Thatcher governments preparations for taking on the miners. In reality the government actually did the tanker drivers propaganda for them demonstrating how bad a strike might be: … Read more