centre ground

Permission politics

Editorial  |  3 November 2016

The prime minister closed her party’s conference with a bold pitch for the ‘centre-ground’ of British politics. It lacked real vision, it certainly lacked consistency, and it lacked policy commitments. But it did not lack chutzpah. Simply saying you are on the centre-ground does not make it so. The public, not prime ministers, decide where the centre-ground lies. Politicians play …

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Labour must not vacate the centre-ground

Naushabah Khan  |  25 November 2015

As the polling stations closed on 7 May I remember sitting down after a hard day campaigning to watch the exit polls results come in. My initial reaction was one of disbelief as the BBC announced a possible Conservative majority, and I refused to believe they were accurate. But as seat after seat was declared, …

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Left right centre

Tal Michael  |  18 September 2015

            This is the graphic that matters in British politics.                       The figures change at the margin between polls (this is from before the election) but the overall picture remains the same. It is not the only spectrum that matters …

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The politics of delusion

Robert Philpot  |  15 May 2015

In November 1988, the Democrat presidential candidate, Michael Dukakis, led his party to its third consecutive defeat. In its aftermath, two academics, Elaine Kamarck and William Galston, published a short monograph, The Politics of Evasion, in which they accused their party of engaging in a decade-long ‘systematic denial of reality’ about the causes of its …

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The election: what went wrong and what next

Edward Jones  |  14 May 2015

My first thoughts after Thursday’s results were with all Labour’s fantastic candidates who were standing up on stages across the country as their results were read out but going the wrong way: the likes of Will Martindale, Uma Kumaran and Luke Pollard would have made great members of parliament – and hopefully still will some …

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The new centre-ground – coastal Britain

Hywel Lloyd  |  24 November 2014

With the pollsters and commentators all expecting something of a tight result in the 2015 battleground seats, the marginals we need to defend and those we need to win become even more important to our campaign. In contrast to the days of Mondeo man or Worcester woman, the common factor in many of Labour’s battleground …

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Rebuilding the popular centre

Hopi Sen  |  21 November 2014

In the wake of Rochester, the rise of United Kingdom Independence party and the appeal of populism across Europe, it is crucial for believers in reformism to understand and tackle populism. The hard part is how. I propose one way forward in a pamphlet from Policy Network published today called ‘The popular centre’. I argue …

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All in the mind

Peter Kellner  |  30 March 2012

Labour is currently espousing a new centre-ground. But how useful is this notion, asks Peter Kellner The centre-ground is like the square root of minus one. It is extremely useful, but there is a strong case for saying that it does not actually exist beyond the minds of those who use it. Consider the proposition …

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Third sector’s new centre-ground

Tom Levitt  |  9 February 2012

Bill Clinton recently wrote a piece in the Financial Times entitled ‘Charity needs capitalism to solve the world’s problems’; do I dimly remember Marx saying something similar about how socialism needed capitalism in order to work, too? The point the former president was making is that we have witnessed what untempered capitalism can do – …

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Into a new era

Graeme Cooke  |  1 February 2012

The political landscape is increasingly fragmented and complex. Simplicity should be the hallmark of Labour’s response, argues Graeme Cooke In one sense, Lenin was right. Widening the franchise did not inexorably advance the cause of socialism. The revolutionary left utterly neglected the potential for democracy to deliver huge achievements, like universal public services and the …

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