Lewis Baston

Victory is appealing to everyone 

Alex Ross-Shaw  |  20 May 2016

In terms of expectation management there was a clear winner in the 2016 local elections: the Labour party. Faced with predictions of 150 losses in council seats, to come out with fewer than 20 encouraged many of us to breathe a sigh of relief that things could have been much worse. The media narrative the next day was …

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No mean task

Adam Harrison  |  27 September 2015

Adam Harrison with the latest from the wonk world Last month Tanked Up reported that Policy Network would be continuing the long-running ‘southern discomfort’ series of studies into Labour’s electoral (mis)fortunes. The problem is now extremely serious, and Patrick Diamond and Giles Radice’s latest instalment takes the form of an entire book. It makes for grim reading, …

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More ‘Midlands Misery’

Leon Spence  |  15 September 2015

Local government officers are people to be hugely admired. Not only do a large proportion of them go above and beyond the duties of their job description, they do one thing that people in many other walks do not have to consider. They do not let on their own opinions. As well as remaining straight-faced …

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Labour need to focus on the future

Christabel Cooper  |  10 September 2015

The Progress West Midlands conference in the West Midlands addressed several of the major issues facing the Labour party at the moment: how Labour can regain its reputation for economic credibility, whether devolution can work for England, whether Britain should leave the European Union, and perhaps the biggest of all – why we lost the …

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Sequels to the sequel

Adam Harrison  |  10 September 2015

Tanked up Adam Harrison with the latest from the wonk world One of the most seminal texts in Labour party history – yet one that is unfortunately not heeded enough – is Southern Discomfort, Giles Radice’s 1992 study of floating voters in southern marginal seats who had thought about voting Labour but ended up backing the Conservatives. …

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Polling station

Local and general

Lewis Baston  |  27 February 2015

Every general election is decided in the marginal parliamentary constituencies. The public, and sometimes even political insiders, have the impression that the main parties command armies of campaigners which can be directed with precision. In the imagination, we have Lynton Crosby and Greg Cook playing first world war generals and moving model armies around a …

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Dark vistas

Lewis Baston  |  11 November 2014

Next May’s election may resemble that of October 1974, believes Lewis Baston Time is running out for two polling phenomena which many have been expecting to kick in before the next general election. The first expected pattern was that the support for insurgent parties would fade as the choice of governments started to loom larger …

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One week to go: by-election analysis

Lewis Baston  |  2 October 2014

There are two parliamentary by-elections next Thursday. The vacancy in Clacton is caused by Douglas Carswell resigning from the Conservatives, joining the United Kingdom Independence party and now seeking ratification of his defection from the electorate. The Heywood and Middleton vacancy has arisen because of the death of Labour member of parliament Jim Dobbin. Clacton …

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Your guide to interpreting tonight’s results

Lewis Baston  |  18 September 2014

Nobody is venturing an exit poll for the Scottish referendum. We will have to find out the result the old-fashioned way. The reason for this requires some explanation. British pollsters have, over time, fine-tuned their skills in exit poll predictions in general elections. The painstakingly thorough (and expensive) poll in 2010 was extraordinarily accurate, and …

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Ukip puts recapturing Labour seats at risk

Bob Blizzard  |  17 June 2014

One of the biggest surprises of my political life was walking into the count for Waveney’s  2013 county council elections. In the midterm of a Tory government I had expected that Labour would win all eight of the Lowestoft wards, all won by the Tories in the disaster of 2009. But on each counting table …

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