Lib Dems

England’s local elections 2018: the Lib Dems’ performance was underwhelming – but these were not the elections to judge the party on

England’s local elections 2018: the Lib Dems’ performance was underwhelming – but these were not the elections to judge the party on

Despite media headlines to the contrary, the Liberal Democrats’ performance in the recent local elections was pretty underwhelming, explains David Cutts. But it is the 2019 local elections that will tell us more about the long-term viability of the party, since those will concern a larger number of English districts where the Lib Dems will be seeking to reclaim ground lost to the Conservatives since 2010.

Same difference? Female (and male) members of Britain’s political parties

Same difference? Female (and male) members of Britain’s political parties

A recent report by the Party Membership Project run by Monica Poletti, Tim Bale and Paul Webb has shown how the membership of Britain’s main political parties is more like to be male, middle aged and middle class. The results of this survey were explored in a discussion with several leading female MPs, which highlighted common concerns about party behaviours, class and gender barriers that reinforce these disparities in participation.

What’s driving the decline of the centre-left?

What’s driving the decline of the centre-left?

Are centre-left parties across Europe facing terminal decline? Drawing on a new book, Rob Manwaring (Flinders University) and Paul Kennedy (University of Bath) argue that an essential element in any robust democracy is an effective centre-left. However, centre-left parties now face a number of major challenges, from the rise of new parties, to the erosion of their traditional support […]

Just how much do voters trust Scottish parties’ social media posts?

Just how much do voters trust Scottish parties’ social media posts?

Do people believe the ‘facts’ circulated on social media by political parties? Graeme Baxter, Rita Marcella and Agnieszka Walicka showed Scottish voters five posts from different parties and asked them to rate their reliability. The Scottish Greens’ post was viewed as the most trustworthy, with participants identifying a wide gap between their experience of local politicians and the national debate. […]

Outsourcing democracy to an algorithm: the tyranny of the tactical voting site

Outsourcing democracy to an algorithm: the tyranny of the tactical voting site

Anti-hard Brexit and ‘progressive’ sites that advised voters which of their local candidates to vote for were a popular feature of the 2017 General Election. Annabel Mullin questions the democratic legitimacy of effectively outsourcing one’s vote to an algorithm, and argues that detailed party manifestos have a deadening effect on political debate. Similar PostsA return […]

A return to two-party politics? Don’t believe it

A return to two-party politics? Don’t believe it

The snap election may have seen the biggest combined vote between the two main parties since 1970, but this is not the result of lost voters returning to their political homes, writes Darren Hughes. On the contrary, it is the outcome of 21st century voting patterns playing out within a broken 19th century voting system. Similar PostsCorbyn’s rent controls: […]

No one won this General Election – and Labour’s internal wrangles are far from over

No one won this General Election – and Labour’s internal wrangles are far from over

No party emerges with much credit from the general election, writes Robin Pettitt. Theresa May is diminished and she may not survive for long, even with the support of the DUP. Jeremy Corbyn captured 29 more seats but still lost the election, and his personal standing with voters remains poor and his problems with the […]

The “empty centre”: how voters’ views have polarised since 2015

The “empty centre”: how voters’ views have polarised since 2015

Following up from his 2015 analysis on the economic and cultural positions of party supporters in England, Jonathan Wheatley uses 2017 data and finds that party supporters have become far more polarised – leaving a gap in the middle, occupied possibly by large numbers of undecided voters. It is this ’empty centre’ on the economic […]

Party canvassers don’t change people’s opinions, but they do persuade them to vote

Party canvassers don’t change people’s opinions, but they do persuade them to vote

Party volunteers up and down the country (and especially in marginal seats) are pounding the streets campaigning on their party’s behalf. But what sort of effect, if any, do they really have? Charles Pattie, Ron Johnston and Todd Hartman show that while doorstep campaigning is unlikely to change people’s political opinions, it is particularly effective […]

The case of the missing marginals: how big will May’s majority be?

The case of the missing marginals: how big will May’s majority be?

A little-reported result of the 2015 general election was a substantial reduction in the number of marginal seats, and a consequent increase in the number of very safe ones for both the Conservatives and Labour. Ron Johnston, Charles Pattie and David Rossiter explore the implications of those changes for the forthcoming election. Will May get […]