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Populist and Extreme Parties: To Ban or Not To Ban?

Written by Fernando Casal Bértoa and Angela Bourne.

Extreme, populist and anti-systemic parties are on the rise! Only this year elections in the Netherlands and Bulgaria and Germany returned excellent results for radical right parties (e.g. Party of FreedomAlternative for Germanyor Ataka). Even in usually quiet Liechtenstein The Independents (DU), a right-wing populist party, managed to obtain more than 18 percent of the votes. In France, Marine Le Pen came second in the presidential elections. Last Sunday the Freedom Party of Austria got more than 20 percent of the vote, and in countries like Greece or Slovakia support for neo-Nazi parties (i.e. Golden Dawn or People’s Party Our Slovakia) reach a notable 7 percent of the electorate.

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For the Catalan and Spanish government to negotiate, the EU must be involved

Written by Simon Toubeau. 

Unless the Catalan and Spanish immediately open channels of dialogue about the constitutional future of Catalonia, the scenes witnessed last Sunday may only be a mild precursor of things to come. But for this dialogue to take place, the EU must be actively involved.

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Lessons from history for Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘government in waiting’

Written by Steven Fielding.

History, as Henry Ford once claimed, is bunk: and that is what many Jeremy Corbyn supporters now believe. Prior to the 2017 election, Corbynites were told by supposed experts like myself that, as Tony Blair had it, when a traditional left-wing party competes with a traditional right-wing party the traditional result will follow: defeat for the left.

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Our Friends in the North: Nicky as Jeremy Corbyn

Written by Steven Fielding.

When Peter Flannery’s Our Friends in the North was broadcast in 1996 TV critics fell over themselves to praise the series. Tracing the lives of four young working-class characters from 1964 to 1995 the nine-part series aspired to say something significant about the politics of those times and explain the sad state of mid-90s Britain. Subsequently showered with awards Our Friends in the North remains one of the most highly regarded of television dramas.

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Issue priorities, costs and social concerns in Brexit negotiations

Written by Carolina Plescia & Magdalena Staniek.

As the UK negotiates the terms of its departure from the EU, every day its citizens receive an onslaught of claims and counterclaims about the many aspects of the Brexit “deal.” Given the complexity of Brexit negotiations and the heated debate surrounding them, how do citizens decide about what issues are important for them and for the country as a whole? What influences their opinions on Brexit and where do their preferences come from? In our study, we focus on the combination of the three key aspects of Brexit negotiations – issue priorities, material and social considerations – as well as the role that parties play in the formation of preferences about “the best Brexit deal for Britain”.

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Has Wales got it right (once again)?

Written by Siim Trumm.

Wales Act 2014 re-instated the right of candidates to stand simultaneously as a constituency candidate and a regional list candidate for elections to the National Assembly for Wales. This seems to have paid off. Not only were dual candidates’ campaign efforts more intense and complex than those of their PR-only and SMD-only counterparts in the run up to the 2016 devolved election, but they were also the most balanced ones in their focus. Dual candidacy may have had to wait thirteen years to return to Wales, but there are reasons to hope it stays.

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Labour’s lost voters and attitudes to immigration

Written by Paula Surridge.

At the weekend, Tony Blair expressed his belief that new tougher immigration rules could be a way to satisfy voters without requiring the ‘sledgehammer’ of Brexit. Whilst being met with disdain by many within the current Labour party it appears to be more in tune with those voters who have stopped supporting the party at general elections since Labour last won power and particularly with those previous Labour voters who voted for the Conservatives on June 8th 2017.  Using data from the British Election Internet Panel Study, we can identify those who either voted Labour in 2017 or had previously voted Labour in 2005 but failed to do so in 2017. Data are included for England only and excludes those too young to vote in 2005.  The groups identified and their sample sizes are

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Red lines and compromises: public opinion on the Brexit negotiations

Written by Lindsay Richards and Anthony Heath.

The heated nature of the public discourse around Brexit suggests that the British public are not in a compromising mood, but is there evidence to back this up? We set out to discover what people think about the various aspects of the EU negotiations. Where are people more willing to compromise and what do they say are the ‘red lines’? Our results suggest there is more to see than the ‘two tribes’ politics of leave and remain.

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