I am grateful to Tom for asking a question that I couldn’t immediately answer. Actually, he merely pointed out that the Fixed-term Parliaments Act meant that votes on a Queen’s Speech (a government’s programme for a new session of Parliament) or a Budget could no longer be declared matters of confidence and therefore could not [...]
Further to my article about the TV debates in today’s Independent on Sunday, there is one possibility I didn’t have space to discuss. This is the much-canvassed “empty chair” tactic, which is that the broadcasters should threaten to go ahead with the debates leaving an empty chair for David Cameron. Either to put pressure on [...]
Labour’s lead in the opinion polls is narrowing. Last week Populus had the two parties tied on 35 per cent. Today Opinium had the lead down to two points and YouGov had it at five points.
This is, incidentally, happening while UKIP is enjoying another surge, so this time Nigel Farage’s rise is more at Labour’s [...]
We now have three different attempts to quantify the average movement of opinion polls in the last year or so before British general elections.
Here are Leo Barasi’s new calculations. His rule for the polls a year before an election is: halve the lead (of whichever party) and then move the lead 3½ points in the governing [...]
I am grateful to Electoral Calculus for producing a special version of its Polling Chart of Everything, showing the history of party support this parliament, as measured by ComRes for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday (the average of the company’s two series, telephone polls for The Independent and online polls for The Independent [...]
Daniel Finkelstein in The Times (pay wall) does not think much of the idea of a Tory manifesto promise to refuse to continue the coalition:
Yesterday it was being suggested that David Cameron was contemplating fighting the next election on a pledge not to form a coalition whatever the result. The suggestion was further being made that [...]
David Hayes of Inside Story returns to British politics to “dig deep” into Ed Miliband as a possible prime minister, and then “stand back”.
Hayes quotes from father Ralph Miliband’s unpublished autobiography, “I have moved within a rather narrow spectrum, in some ways very narrow indeed,” and says: “The observation is even more true of his younger [...]
As a result of my lukewarm welcome for Ed Miliband’s pitch to the middle classes on Tuesday, Alex Massie commented on Twitter that he didn’t see how I was going to be able to bring myself to vote for a party led by Ed Miliband.
Nonsense, I said. I live in a constituency represented by a fine [...]
Brilliant column by Daniel Finkelstein, or Lord Finkelstein as we shall have to get used to calling him, in today’s Times (pay wall). About a book called The Gamble: Choice and Chance in the 2012 Presidential Election, by John Sides and Lynn Vavreck.
It recounts an experiment in election forecasting, which is relevant to some of [...]
I wrote in The Independent on Sunday yesterday about predictions of the next election, again, prompted by the assertion by Nick Harvey, the Liberal Democrat MP (pictured), that “Labour has already won.”
One of the axioms on which he builds this fallacy is this: “It’s very difficult to see why anyone would vote Tory next time who [...]
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