• Campaigning in a crisis – the race for the US Presidency

    Campaigning in a crisis – the race for the US Presidency

    How do you campaign when you can’t campaign? In the UK the scheduled May elections were delayed for a year but in the US there is the Presidential and other elections in November and, more trickily a series of primary contests to select candidates. Primaries (and caucuses) select delegates according to candidate.  The delegates then […]

  • Voting from behind bars – more changes on the way?

    Voting  from behind bars – more changes on the way?

    For many UK politicians, the question of votes for prisoners is politically toxic.  David Cameron said the prospect made him feel physically ill and when the issue has come up in Parliament it’s been a rare person who has ventured an opinion in favour. But the tide could be moving in favour of the franchise […]

  • How do Parliaments cope in a ‘lock down’?

    How do Parliaments cope in a ‘lock down’?

    In a public health crisis such as coronavirus, buildings have had to be closed and gatherings banned.  That has included political institutions such as the House of Commons, which went into recess early. Yet if Parliament cannot meet, not only can there be no legislative progress, there also can’t be proper scrutiny of the Government.  […]

  • Taking over from Corbyn – New Leader, Old Problems

    Taking over from Corbyn –  New Leader, Old Problems

    Saturday’s (4 April) “reveal” of the Labour leadership result would under normal circumstances be a big news event.  The coronavirus crisis however means the contrast with the big noisy 2015 announcement event will be stark.  There will be no room full of party activists, candidates, journalists and MPs, no clapping, no leaping onto a stage […]

  • European elections guide: what’s actually on the ballot paper?

    Paula Keaveney, Edge Hill University Despite plans to go ahead with Brexit, the UK will now participate in elections to the European Parliament on May 23. Voting in this election will take place across Europe between May 23 and May 26, with different countries holding votes on different days. The majority of member states vote […]

  • EU elections 2019: the story so far

    In my third article about the Euro elections I’m focusing on the campaigns so far (here are parts one and two). European elections are always tricky campaign-wise. The constituencies are in fact massive regions which makes it harder to mount an intensive campaign. They often come soon after other elections, which means activists are tired. […]

  • EU election manifestos: unread, but still important

    As polling day in the European elections (23 May)  gets nearer, I am writing a series of articles about the messages and communications techniques involved.  Today I am focusing on that staple of elections – the party manifesto. Despite the, sometimes lengthy, arguments about phrasing and content, virtually no one actually reads manifestos. No one, […]

  • Theresa May’s failing hostile environment: immigration checks by landlords breach human rights

    Tom Simcock, Edge Hill University The “right-to-rent” scheme was a cornerstone of Theresa May’s hostile environment, which she put in place during her time as home secretary to curb illegal migration to the UK. Since 2016, the scheme has required landlords to check the status of their tenants by reviewing identification documents – a passport, […]

  • Developing the Independent Group’s brand

    They say a week is a long time in politics but frankly it feels at the moment as if a day is a long time. February’s drama has included eight Labour MPs leave the party to become part of the Independent Group, followed by three Conservatives doing the same. The political world has been awash […]

  • Winter pressures and the NHS Ambulance Services: ‘Doing more with less’ is not an option

    Paresh Wankhade, Professor of Leadership and Management and Emergency Services Management Expert discusses the issues the Ambulance Service faces as winter approaches in his latest Comment blog: With each passing year, the winter crisis puts a massive strain on the NHS ambulance resources with huge bottlenecks in the transfer of patients into the hospital Accident […]