general election 2015

Time to stop blaming the media

Editorial  |  28 January 2016

‘Imagine my initial confusion’, tweeted Labour member of parliament Jess Phillips, ‘as I worked in sexual health MSM means Men who have Sex with Men’. The MSM, or the so-called ‘mainstream media’, has become the scapegoat for many about the grievances they feel with the world. If it is not going their way, it must be …

6 Comments Read more

Margin of error

The Progressive  |  28 January 2016

We ignore the polls at our peril The dramatic announcement of the results of the exit poll at 10.01pm on Thursday 7 May 2015 has become one of those ‘Where were you?’ political moments. Anyone in politics can tell you what they were doing. Those at the heart of campaigns can recount the shock, horror, …

1 Comment Read more

A welcome focus on winning

Nick Bent  |  26 January 2016

Sharply contrasted against the unedifying and introspective nature of certain elements of the current Labour party, the great strength of the Beckett report is that it is firmly focused on the public and on the future. Specifically, it is a useful blueprint to the massive challenge of how Labour wins the 2020 general election. So …

2 Comments Read more

Beyond Beckett

Deborah Mattinson  |  24 January 2016

In June last year, soon after the general election, acting leader of the Labour party, Harriet Harman, got in touch. She wanted to commission voter research to help to understand why Labour lost. I, along with colleagues, Ben Shimshon and Cordelia Hay, undertook that work and conducted focus groups in places with particularly disappointing results …

22 Comments Read more

Polling inquiry: there may be trouble ahead

Keiran Pedley  |  23 January 2016

It is fair to say that 2015 was a difficult year for pollsters. Despite some successes (correctly calling the Scottish National party surge in Scotland and Jeremy Corbyn’s election as leader of the Labour party) they got the one that mattered most wrong. They called the general election as a dead heat, only for David …

0 Comments Read more

The Last Word: All My Sons

Jamie Reed MP  |  23 January 2016

The publication of Margaret Beckett’s report into Labour’s most recent general election failure presents a useful lacuna in the party’s struggle to understand the latest rejection by the British people at the ballot box. Useful, but by no means exhaustive, the ‘Learning the Lessons from Defeat Taskforce Report’ confirms what those of us on the …

4 Comments Read more

Five million conversations

Polly Billington  |  21 January 2016

I suspect Gloria de Piero’s shameless plug of this book in last week’s Stylist magazine may raise its profile more than my few thoughts on it published here. My copy of Five Million Conversations is already better thumbed than my candidate’s copy of our general election policy booklet. As it gathers pace and its diary …

0 Comments Read more

Too timid and too late

David Talbot  |  20 January 2016

When the Labour party is using its devastating defeat of 1983 as a benchmarking exercise to analyse the 2015 election, something has gone seriously awry. But you would not necessarily know it if you read Margaret Beckett’s report in to why Labour lost a winnable election quite so convincingly last May. Indeed, there are three …

4 Comments Read more

Must Labour lose?

David Lipsey  |  20 January 2016

Labour’s electoral demise has been long predicted. ‘If necessary changes are not made, the Labour vote will probably decline … by about two per cent at each successive general election’ wrote Tony Crosland in 1960. In the same year, two leading academics, Richard Rose and Mark Abrams, published the much discussed book: ‘Must Labour lose?’ Within …

9 Comments Read more

The British General Election of 2015

Richard Briand  |  16 December 2015

The Nuffield guides to general elections, published since 1945, has become to psephologists and political historians what Wisden is to cricket enthusiasts and Baedeker is to travel enthusiasts. This latest volume does not disappoint, not least in its lively and journalistic style, and the numerous revelations and quotes from party insiders. The most amusing is …

3 Comments Read more