20 things we learned about democracy in March 2015

The General Election is (nearly) here! And here at Democratic Audit UK, we’ve been ferreting away trying to find the most interesting clumps of information, conjecture, opinion and miscellaneous. Collating it all for your pleasure, as ever, is Sean Kippin, who has been helped enormously by the launch of the Democratic Dashboard – a new voter resource bringing together hitherto unprecedented information for the convenience of voters up and down the country. 

1) Voter information can only get better

A brand, spanking new, top-class voter information resource (the Democratic Dashboard) is now available at democraticdashboard.com. Find out more.



2) Bunch of mugs 

Mugs are now a battleground in the war of the election. Find out more here, and here



3) Read the small print

Our First Past the Post electoral system is flawed in more ways than one. Find out more here



4) Solero-no-go

The Scottish First Minister’s press team make interviews conditional on interviewers not mentioning particular iced lollies, given previous embarrassments. Find out more here



5) Fear and loathing on the campaign trail

Rancour across party lines now means that for some, partisan prejudice can be stronger than racial prejudice. Find out more here



6) Costly threeway

Watford, a three-way ultra marginal seat, received the most donations in 2014, according to information gleaned by the Democratic Dashboard team. Find out more here



7) Bleeding heart… Conservatives?

Scotland isn’t necessarily more left-wing than the rest of the United Kingdom, according to Paul Cairney, writing for the Conversation. Find out more here



8) Covert action

Some parliamentary candidates act in very strange ways indeed. Find out more here.



9) Fully attuned 

The Green Party have an interesting conference ritual, called “Attunement”. Find out more here



10)  Hinterland 

Political leaders need not have an enormous amount of interests outside of politics in order to be voted for in their droves. Find out more here



11) Power cut

Not all votes are equal. Not by a long shot, according to the Democratic Dashboard. Find out more here.



12) Electoral under-registration  

New electoral registration rules mean students are likely to be under-represented in the 2015 election, according to research by the LSE’s Jack Blumenau, Tony Travers, and Simon Hix . Find out more here



13) Rebel, Rebel, Rebel, Rebel, Rebel…

The current Government backbenches have been more rebellious than any in the last 50 years. Find out more here



14) Exhortation

Britain’s new greatest orator isn’t the Prime Minister, let alone the leader of the opposition, but the Welsh firebrand… Michael Sheen. See his oration here.



15) Leaping Salmond and Sturgeon 

The SNP have turned the electoral map upside down north of the border – meaning that it could be almost unrecognisable after the election. Find out more here



16) Speaker-Easy

The Speaker of the House of Commons does have allies in the Conservative Party, after all (just not many of them). Find out more here and here



17) Brexit Music (Not a Film) 

The economic consequences of the UK leaving the EU are severe, according to Swati Dhingra, Gianmarco Ottaviano and Thomas Sampson. Find out more here



18) Crisis? Oh, that crisis… 

The public are fairly sure that there’s an NHS funding crisis, according to the latest British Social Attitudes Survey. Find out more here

NHS Petition Hand-in: Nick Clegg


19) Vot-E E-arly, and often

The General Election will be a digital one, but not necessarily in the way you might think, according to Nick Ansted. Find out more here.



20) Purple haze

If the 2015 General Election map looks anything like the 2014 European elections, we’re in for a very big change indeed. Find out more here


Note: this post represents the views of the author, and not those of Democratic Audit or the LSE. Please read our comments policy before posting. 

Roundtable - Sean Kippin, Democratic AuditSean Kippin is Managing Editor of Democratic Audit. He received a Degree in Politics from the University of Northumbria in 2008, and an MSc in Political Theory from the London School of Economics in 2011. From 2008 to 2012 he worked for the Rt Hon Nick Brown MP in Newcastle and in the House of Commons, and for Alex Cunningham MP. He has also worked at the Smith Institute think tank, and as an intern for the Co-operative Party. He has been at Democratic Audit since June 2013, and can be found on twitter at @se_kip.

1) democraticdashboard; 2) Jamal Fanaian, CC BY 2.0; 3) hugovk, CC BY NC SA 2.0; 4) Scottish Government, CC BY NC 2.0; 5) Anirvan, CC BY NC 2.0; 6) Clive A. Brown, CC BY NC 2.0; 7) Scottish Government, CC BY NC 2.0; 8) Bryce Mullet, CC BY NC 2.0; 9) Wavy1, CC BY NC 2.0; 10) Lex McKee, CC BY NC 2.0; 11) Don McCullough, CC BY NC 2.0; 12) Alexandre Duret-Lutz, CC BY NC 2.0; 13) Finlayfox, CC BY SA 2.0; 14) Tom Beardshaw, CC BY NC SA 2.0; 15) mikkashar, CC BY NC 2.0; 16) UK Parliament, CC BY NC 2.0; 17) Feans, CC BY 2.0; 18) 38 Degrees, CC BY 2.0; 19) Daniel Bagel, CC BY NC 2.0; 20) murfomurf, CC BY NC 2.0

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