Survation carried out an unusual poll for the Mail on Sunday, asking people to watch a one-minute video of five possible Labour leaders and then to answer questions about them. The figures given in the newspaper are for respondents who voted Labour in 2010;* I would have thought we were more interested in the views [...]
Nigel Farage has been vindicated. He was the first important person in UKIP to realise the significance of proportional representation when it was introduced for the 1999 European Parliament election, according to Robert Ford and Matthew Goodwin in Revolt on the Right.
Farage became chairman of the party in his mid-30s after Alan Sked, the founding [...]
Some customer resistance to the claim in my column for The Independent on Sunday that Labour’s results in the local elections last week were “not good enough”. Typical Blairite rubbish, no more than you would expect from, um, Ed Balls.
If the “Blair’s gone you know” people would care to pay attention to what the Shadow [...]
Chris Giles on Financial Times Blogs has done a superb piece of work, investigating Thomas Piketty’s acclaimed “comprehensive” statistics on the distribution of wealth, and has found that the numbers for several European countries are hard to explain.
I thought Piketty’s figures did not match the British statistics with which I was familiar, as I said [...]
Important article by Peter Kellner in next month’s Prospect about the changing relationship between class and voting. This takes me back to my early days in political journalism, not just because I learned so much from Kellner when he was political editor of the New Statesman in the 1980s, but because a debate raged then in academic [...]
Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has just addressed the second-most ferocious trade union in the western world, the Police Federation. The most ferocious is of course the British Medical Association, and the Federation has suffered a bit of a setback recently in its handling of the Andrew Mitchell Gategate.
All praise to May, therefore, for taking [...]
In The Independent tomorrow, ComRes launches a new “Battlebus” poll in 40 of the most marginal Conservative-Labour seats.
The figures are:
Con 33% (-4)
Lab 35% (-2)
LibDem 8% (-10)
UKIP 17% (+14)
Other 7% (+2)
Figures in brackets show changes since the 2010 general election results across the constituencies. These are the numbers to focus on. Labour is doing better than [...]
I used to think that the difference between this coalition and the one that preceded it was that the Blair-Brown coalition was dysfunctional and its two wings behaved badly towards each other. Now we know better. My column for The Independent on Sunday was about a historic document published last week: a blog post by [...]
The voting system for the European Parliament elections on Thursday is horrible. The closed-list proportional representation system was one of the less glorious legacies of the golden Blair years. You vote for a party and a phalanx of people, just names listed in the small print on the ballot paper, slope off to Brussels on [...]
This week’s Top 10 in the Independent on Sunday magazine is metatheses, the transposition of sounds in words.
Bird used to be brid (that’s not a misspelling, pictured, that’s etymology), wasp used to be waps and dusk used to be dox.
I could have had a separate category for people’s names. Matthew Bell says that in Nepal [...]
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