The Conservatives have a mountain to climb to challenge Labour’s social media dominance

In the wake of this year’s snap general election, it has become apparent that age, not social class, has become the new fault line in British politics. Analysis published by YouGov highlights the woeful electoral performance by the Conservatives amongst younger voters. Amongst 18 and 19 year old voters at the 2017 general election, Labour were ahead of the Tories by a staggering 47 points (66% to 19%), and were 40 points ahead of the Conservatives with voters in their … Read more

Our Friends in the North? The DUP and the Tories aren’t ideologically close

Following the shock result of Thursday’s General Election, the Prime Minister has announced her intention to form a government with the help with her “friends and allies in the DUP”. The DUP and the Conservatives are aligned in their commitment to Brexit and Northern Ireland’s place in the union, but they are far from ideological twins with regards to other issues. Much has been made of the incompatibilities between the DUP’s hard-line stance on same sex marriage and the Conservatives, … Read more

Will YouGov’s election model be vindicated when the results are in?

Opinion polling firm YouGov have raised eyebrows in the run up to Thursday’s poll with the results of their forecast model, which at the time of writing is forecasting that the Conservatives will only win 307 seats. This would deprive them of their parliamentary majority, and leaves open the possibility that Jeremy Corbyn could become Prime Minister if Labour could secure support from the smaller parties in the Commons. The YouGov model is out of line with other election forecasts, … Read more

“So let nobody speak of a progressive or anti-Brexit pact either…”

In Saturday’s Irish News, Newton Emerson with some impertinent points about electoral pacts in the forthcoming General Election on June 8.  From the Irish News Sinn Féin has ordered the SDLP to stand down, although sadly not to dump arms, in North Belfast and Fermanagh and South Tyrone. Let nobody call this a nationalist pact, as that would involve reciprocation and Sinn Féin has not offered to stand down anywhere.  Sinn Féin’s stance is doubly impressive when it risks handing … Read more

SDLP Councillor resigns from the party

In today’s Tyrone Herald, Ryan McAleer reports that another SDLP Councillor has resigned from the party in Cookstown. McAleer reports that Tony Quinn from Cookstown has left the party as he finds the party political process to be “self-seeking.” Quinn is the 4th SDLP Councillor to quit in the past 12 months and brings the party’s representation on Mid-Ulster District Council to 5.   David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow … Read more

Inside the May/Juncker Dinner about Brexit

A German Newspaper FAZ has an extensive report on the meeting between the European Commission President, Jean Claude Juncker and Theresa May just last week. It has been reported that the meeting did not go well but just how bad was not know until yesterday. Jeremy Cliffe of the Economist in Berlin has very kindly transcribed the meeting on his Twitter feed and here are the total exchanges from the article as transcribed by Forbes where you can find the extensive … Read more

How the Irish government pulled off a Brexit coup

Denis Staunton has an excellent piece in the Irish Times about how Enda Kenny achieved so much success, so quickly with the Brexit negotiations. Whilst some were waxing lyrical about Spain’s aggressive stance over Gibraltar, Ireland pretty much went back to basics, quietly in the background working with officials and quietly pushed forward its agenda. The prominence of Ireland’s issues in the EU’s guidelines, including a statement guaranteeing that Northern Ireland could automatically rejoin the EU as part of a united … Read more

Labour facing real risk of wipeout as their polling slump continues

The past days have seen a number of opinion polls released ahead of June’s General Election, and they continue to make grim reading for the Labour Party. The ComRes/Sunday Mirror poll gave the Conservatives a 50% share, double that of Labour on 25%. The last fortnight has continued to give Tories a vote share in the high forties, whilst Labour have been languishing far behind on the low to mid twenties. Were these results to be replicated in the election … Read more

The problem with the Lib Dems’ anti-Brexit strategy

The snap General Election called for June 2017 would appear to be a significant opportunity for the Liberal Democrats. In contrast with Labour’s mixed messages on Brexit, the Lib Dems are offering a much clearer stance on Brexit, positioning themselves as the party who will stop a hard Brexit and keep the UK in the single market. Could this year’s election provide an opportunity for the Lib Dems to become the party to speak for the 48% of the UK … Read more

Effects of #Brexit are likely to challenge every single party in Britain, bar the Tories…

Now, take this British Election Survey with a modicum of salt. Particularly the visual graphics which, if you read them too directly, can be misleading. It’s complex, but the detail tells an interesting story. This is the tenth wave of a big survey with massive sample sizes that go way beyond the average polls. According to the notes: 7,351 respondents took all of the first 10 waves of the survey, 24.3% of respondents who originally took wave 1. Wave 10 was conducted by YouGov … Read more

#GE2017: So why did Theresa May go for an election now?

Chris Deerin writing for CapEx on what this election will mean in GB for the Conservatives (if they win)… There is, of course, base political calculation at the heart of Mrs May’s proposal – she is confronted with the fierce urgency of now. The 20-point polling gap between her Conservatives and Labour is staggering, sustained and a lit runway to a landslide majority. Her government is as yet largely unbruised by the Brexit process, but will not stay that way … Read more

Interview with Prof Rob Ford on the Ins and Outs of the UK’s #GE17

I spoke to Rob Ford, Professor of Political Science at the University of Manchester, about the upcoming Westminster election this afternoon.  I asked him how the government could get around the terms of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act: There are two likely options. The first and, given the statement of Jeremy Corbyn already, the more likely is, that a vote will be called in the Commons which would require a 2/3 majority to call an election. If MPs don’t back … Read more