The myth of ‘self-government’ is threatening both the UK’s place in the EU and Scotland’s place in the Union

The myth of ‘self-government’ is threatening both the UK’s place in the EU and Scotland’s place in the Union

The UK government is expected to publish a draft bill on 28 May outlining a framework for the country’s referendum on EU membership. Andrew Glencross writes that UK politics is now increasingly defined by two different kinds of ‘exceptionalism’: a push within the UK for self-government outside of the EU, and Scottish demands for self-government within […]

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The take-up of mechanisms designed to temper proportional representation shows that countries don’t choose their electoral systems and rules in a vacuum

The take-up of mechanisms designed to temper proportional representation shows that countries don’t choose their electoral systems and rules in a vacuum

Some countries attempt to ‘temper’ the political party system unpredictability by introducing measures to halt fragmentation, such as representation thresholds. Here, Damien Bol, Jean-Benoit Pilet, and Pedro Riera argue that national legislators are more likely to adopt one of these electoral mechanisms when a large number of other countries have made similar choices in recent years.  […]

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Ireland’s referendum on same sex marriage could be a watershed moment for equality

Ireland’s referendum on same sex marriage could be a watershed moment for equality

Ireland will hold a referendum on 22 May on a proposed amendment to the Constitution of Ireland which would permit same sex marriage. Éidín O’Shea writes on the referendum campaign, which has seen all major parties in the country support a Yes vote. She notes that while opinion polling shows strong backing for the proposal, […]

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Can Labour recover to win in 2020? History says one thing, and the polls another

Can Labour recover to win in 2020? History says one thing, and the polls another

 The 2015 General Election saw the Conservatives win a majority, seemingly against all odds, with Labour expected to perform much more strongly. Alun Wyburn-Powell looks at the historical precedent for Labour to recover and take the next election in 2020, arguing that while the polling suggests an insurmountable challenge, history suggests that it is possible.  Before […]

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The EU’s plan to sink people smugglers’ ships doubles down on a failed agenda

The EU’s plan to sink people smugglers’ ships doubles down on a failed agenda

There has been a great deal of controversy of late regarding the EU’s action – or lack thereof – on the issue of migrants boats coming from northern Africa through the Mediterranean. Rosa Freedman argues that their latest proposal  to enable military action against the boats is unjustifiable and won’t solve a problem with far […]

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Can ‘gender equality’ exclude feminist politics? The case of the Radical Independence Campaign

Can ‘gender equality’ exclude feminist politics? The case of the Radical Independence Campaign

The Scottish independence referendum saw the voters opt to remain within the United Kingdom, al biet by a relatively narrow margin. One of the voices arguing for a ‘Yes’ vote was the Radical Independence Campaign (RIC), who took an overtly left-wing, class-based position, in contrast to the traditional SNP position. Jenny Morrison looks at the way […]

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Why the UK’s pre-election polls got it so wrong: is it time to take probability sampling seriously?

Why the UK’s pre-election polls got it so wrong: is it time to take probability sampling seriously?

One of the key stories of the UK’s general election was the extent to which pre-election polling understated the true level of Conservative support in the electorate. Oliver Heath writes that while many of the lessons have been learned from the last major polling debacle in the UK in 1992, it may be time to take […]

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Electoral fraud is less common in proportional representation systems than it is in plurality systems

Electoral fraud is less common in proportional representation systems than it is in plurality systems

What impact does the electoral system in use have on levels of electoral quality and fraud? Fabrice Lehoucq and Kiril Kolev share research which shows that plurality electoral systems lead to more ballot rigging than do proportional systems, that plurality systems are associated with inferior election quality in the Quality of Elections Database, and that electoral […]

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Britain’s EU membership will now be the subject of several years of negotiation and debate

Britain’s EU membership will now be the subject of several years of negotiation and debate

Last week’s election of a Conservative majority government paves the way for a referendum on Britain’s future in the European Union. Anthony Salamone outlines some of the challenges ahead for the upcoming renegotiation and referendum. Similar PostsThe myth of ‘self-government’ is threatening both the UK’s place in the EU and Scotland’s place in the UnionA […]

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How do nationalist parties reform their organisational profiles? The cases of Plaid Cymru and the SNP compared

How do nationalist parties reform their organisational profiles? The cases of Plaid Cymru and the SNP compared

The SNP swept Scotland’s electoral map at the General Election, winning almost all of the Westminster seats on offer. But what of its organisation? Craig McAngus argues that ‘stateless-nationalist-regionalist’ parties like the SNP and Plaid Cymru have, in response to the introduction of devolved assemblies and the incentive of power, become more ‘normal’ in organisational […]

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