This blog collects perspectives on the election you won't find anywhere else, by political experts, based in the School of Politics and International Relations at The University of Nottingham.

Monday, 7 June 2010

New Politics: The Prime Minister Speaks

“Britain can do better. Britain can be better than this.

Building the greatness of our nation through the greatness of its people.

No more squandering the nation’s assets.

No more sleaze ..

No more lies.

No more broken promises.”

(Tony Blair, 1997)

Prof Chris Pierson

Friday, 28 May 2010

Same candidate elected, in two different constituencies, for two different parties

The parliamentary constituencies of Feverford in Kent and Trough in Hertfordshire are not especially well known. But linking these two seats - one Conservative, one Labour - is one astonishing fact, somehow missed in all the acres of coverage about the election. They are represented, with the aid of a false beard, by the same person.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Why we need a stronger Electoral Commission

The election may be over – Thirsk and Malton notwithstanding – but the fall out from the polling station queues continues. The Electoral Commission’s Interim Report came out last week. It makes for fascinating – and at times, revealing – reading.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

The next Great Reform Act? Pull the other one, Nick.

Nick Clegg has called the new government’s measures to reform politics ‘the most significant programme of empowerment by a British government since the great reforms of the 19th Century’, indeed since the Great Reform Act of 1832.
"...for someone who says he has embraced a new way of doing politics Clegg’s grand rhetoric bears all the hallmarks of the spin and over-selling which the previous Labour administration was said to be guilty of..."

The new Baldwin?

"I for one think that the past is as much of a guide to the future as our current neophilia. On that basis, LibDems beware!"
Few Liberal Democrats have put their coalition with the Conservatives into historical perspective. This is partly due to all politicians’ intoxication with the supposed novelty of any situation these days, something they share with most of their fellow citizens. How many times did Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg assert their embrace of a ‘new politics’?

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

And the election should be called....

"The election battle will be succeeded by the battle of the election books..."
Philip Cowley has asked us what we would call the last election? I think we should name it the Don’t Know Election.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

How bad was the election...really?

"There is a saying in the Philippines that no one loses in elections, there are only winners and those that are cheated. Arguably the cheating has simply entered the digital age..."

How much effort did you put into voting? Did you even vote? Perhaps you strolled down to your polling station in your lunch hour, marked your X and left. It is unlikely you were too inconvenienced. In this respect at least UK democracy does not demand too much of us.

Monday, 17 May 2010

But what would you call it?

"...if you were going to name the 2010 election, what would you call it?"

The opening book in the ‘Nuffield’ election series – The British General Election of 1945 – lists a series of ‘named’ elections: 1874, when the Liberals went down in a flood of gin and beer; the Midlothian election of 1880; the Khaki election of 1900; the Chinese Slavery election of 1906; the People's Budget election of 1910; the 'Hang the Kaiser' election of 1918; and the 1924 ‘Zinovieff letter’ election.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Forget the 55% rule. This is what will really limit Parliament

"...the routine defeats of the government by the upper House, and the subsequent negotiation and compromise between the two – could still be seriously limited..."

Leave aside for now the fuss about the 55% rule and its impact on parliament. For all the talk about preventing votes of no confidence from dissolving parliament, defeats on votes of confidence are already extremely rare. The truth is that most votes of confidence are dull affairs, in which all the MPs of each party simply rally to the flag, and the government survives.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

What’s happening to the BNP?

"It’s tempting to write the BNP of Griffin's saving graces will be the distinct lack of leadership calibre among potential would-be-successors..."

Aside from a bigoted woman in Rochdale and the rise of Nick Clegg, one of the stories of the 2010 campaign was the prospect of a breakthrough by the BNP. This was especially true in outer-east London, where all eyes focused on the ‘Battle of Barking’ between Labour incumbent Margaret Hodge and BNP leader Nick Griffin. Eyes also focused on local elections, where the BNP looked poised to take control of Barking and Dagenham council.