• EU Referendum Campaign – Should we stay or should we go?

    EU Referendum Campaign – Should we stay or should we go?

    If there’s one book you’ll find on most politicians’ bookshelves it’s Drew Westen’s The Political Brain.  This 2007 work said that facts and logical arguments are not enough in political communication.  Even those who are hyper-logical make emotion-based decisions.  And if politicians or campaigns speak to feelings, they are more likely to succeed.  Think back […]

  • Who’s going to win?  Show me the money

    Who’s going to win?  Show me the money

    I blogged previously about a conference at which academics made predictions for potential election results based on a range of factors. One of those factors was money. It is possible, by looking at the Electoral Commission website, to see which constituency or local parties have received the most in donations in any particular quarter. Parties […]

  • Predicting results.. what works and what doesn’t

    Predicting results.. what works and what doesn’t

    Predicting election results is a mix of art and science.  We can all think of polls and pundits in the past who have got it wrong.  But there are some signs observers can look out for to make at least a partial judgement. Yesterday (March 5th) I attended an excellent event at the BBC in […]

  • Unaccustomed as I am…..

    Unaccustomed as I am…..

    This Spring sees the last lot of party conferences before the big event. Some are specific national conferences, like the Conservative Welsh Conference that has just taken place.  Others are UK wide, like the Lib Dem conference due to take place later in March (13/14/15th) and Ukip’s event in Margate. Organisations such as “grassroots” organisation […]

  • Words… words…words

    Words… words…words

    Is there any phrase more annoying than “hard- working families”?  This seems to have entered the political phrasebook and is now trotted out by just about every party on just about every occasion.  Some say it was first used in the 1990s although Liverpool University’s Dr Stuart Wilks Heeg has pointed out a use in […]

  • Broken links!

    Broken links!

    Earlier this week (9 February)  the Conservatives gave away the list of constituencies the party is not targeting  in the General Election.  They did this by including the words “non target” in the URL of each candidate’s page on the central website. A bit of an Ooops moment! So we now know, from the Conservatives’ […]

  • Leaders’ Debates – a lot of fuss about nothing?

    Leaders’ Debates – a lot of fuss about nothing?

    There’s certainly been a huge amount of fuss about the Leaders’ debates.  Will they happen?  Who will be included?  When will they take place? All the rows certainly make for good copy. But we are missing the bigger question, which is what do these debates actually mean?  How can we read them and their significance? […]

  • Oh no.. not another one!

    Oh no.. not another one!

    In the run up to this election there’s a torrent of comment about unpredictability and possible deals.  I have even heard people talk about another election shortly after this one.  Certainly after the 2010 election many believed that a second election would follow quickly if a suitable deal couldn’t be done. The most recent example […]

  • Late to the party?

    Late to the party?

    Among all the pre-election coverage of policy launches and manifestos, we’ve now had the first pre-election human drama – a defection.  Time will tell whether we’ll see more of these in the febrile atmosphere of the run up to May 7.  But as the world of football has its transfer season, we may well be […]