Skip to content

Date archive for: October 2014

An election that UKIP should have won?

By Matthew Goodwin 

The Labour Party has won the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) election. Ukip finished in second place. The victory was sealed when Labour won Rotherham by 800 votes, avoiding a second round of voting by 0.02%.

It will be a relief for Labour, especially given other news about the party’s support in Scotland and against the backdrop of the Heywood and Middleton parliamentary by-election, where Ukip pushed the party to within a few hundred votes of defeat. And it is a bad result for Ukip. The insurgent party has once again emerged as the second force in Labour territory and seen a sharp rise in its support. But there are four reasons why Ukip should have won this election.

Continue reading An election that UKIP should have won?

Transnational Water Security in Asia: A Leadership Role for Rising Powers?

Written by Katherine Morton for the China Policy Institute

Water security is one of the most intractable challenges confronting Asia’s future. It is widely recognised that climate change combined with other stress factors relating to population growth, urbanisation, and unsustainable development are leading to negative impacts on the availability and quality of the region’s water resources. Equally worrying are the lack of formal multilateral mechanisms to encourage water sharing on a region-wide basis. Under these conditions, the potential exists for water conflicts to escalate, and even the spectre of water wars between states seems possible. But a worst-case scenario is by no means inevitable. A critical question is whether Asia’s emerging powers – China and India – will take a leadership role in building cooperation.

Continue reading Transnational Water Security in Asia: A Leadership Role for Rising Powers?

Analysing exploitation and resistance: the centrality of class struggle.

By Andreas Bieler 

In my recent article ‘Transnational Labour Solidarity in (the) Crisis’, published in the Global Labour Journal and freely downloadable here, I assert three key claims: (1) the importance of a historical materialist approach to analyse exploitation and resistance; (2) the significance of understanding the structuring conditions of global capitalism; and (3) the centrality of class struggle defined broadly. In this post, I will provide an overview of the main claims.

Continue reading Analysing exploitation and resistance: the centrality of class struggle.

Modi versus the BJP

By Dishil Shrimankar 

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has created history by crossing the 100-seat mark in the recently concluded state-assembly elections in Maharashtra, a state in western India. The BJP has single-handedly won 123 seats out of the 288 member-House. This is historic, as no party has been able to cross the mark since the early 1990s. In the 1990 state assembly polls, Congress had secured as many as 141 seats. Since then, no national or regional party had come anywhere near the 100-seat mark. Although the party is falling short of the 141-halfway mark (which is required to form a majority government in the House), the party’s victory is impressive considering the fragmented nature of Maharashtra’s party system.

Continue reading Modi versus the BJP

Sex, Lies and the Ballot Box: A wonderful book of political well-I-nevers is launched today

By Philip Cowley and Rob Ford

Today sees the launch of a Specialist Group project that’s been over a year in the making. The plan, hatched by the Elections, Public Opinion and Parties specialist group, was to get elections and electoral behaviour researchers to each write a short, punchy essay on their area of expertise. The result is Sex, Lies, and the Ballot Box, which we have edited, which is launched tonight and published tomorrow.

It is not – absolutely, categorically not – an introductory textbook. There are plenty of such books on the market; indeed, several of our contributors have written such books. It isn’t a compendium or an atlas, but a series of thumbnail sketches, each introducing an aspect of elections and electoral behaviour.

Continue reading Sex, Lies and the Ballot Box: A wonderful book of political well-I-nevers is launched today

Obama, Europe and Counter-terrorism

By Wyn Rees

Conventional wisdom tells us that a re-elected American President has a two-year window of opportunity in which to carry through his agenda before becoming a ‘lame duck’. Obama approaches that halfway stage and mid-term elections are sounding the end of his incumbency. So how will history judge him on the issue of counter-terrorism, that defined his predecessor? George Bush’s presidency was marred by wrangles with his transatlantic allies over the ‘War on Terror’, by Guantanamo Bay and by issues such as ‘extraordinary rendition’. When Obama came into office he promised to overcome the issues that had poisoned transatlantic cooperation and Europe greeted his administration with relief, hopeful that he would transform the relationship.

Continue reading Obama, Europe and Counter-terrorism

Have I Got News For You

By Philip Cowley

I have made it. I can rest easy now, having appeared (if fleetingly, and anonymously) on Friday night’s edition of Have I Got News For.

I was the author of this quote about Ed Miliband’s performance in any TV election debates, which was read out to much amusement.

The thing is: this is (or was meant to be) a pro-Miliband point. It came from an interview I’d done with Channel 4 News earlier in the week, most of which focussed on the debates in 2010 (although none of that made the eventual broadcast), but which also discussed the role expectations play in these events.  The point I was making is that Ed Miliband’s abilities are often under-estimated. This is the full quote (you can watch it in this package) is:

…people have such low expectations of Ed Miliband that when Ed Miliband comes on stage and doesn’t soil himself on camera and  actually presents a very coherent and articulate case, because whatever else you think about him he is a very coherent articulate person, that he will out perform expectations.

Continue reading Have I Got News For You

The enduring presence of the now parked ‘Go Home Van’

By Roda Madziva and Vivien Lowndes

Following our blog published on 10th February, which featured the ‘Go Home Van Campaign’ as ‘evidence’ of the deepening and expansion of the immigration enforcement regime, we have now conducted an empirical study with migrant support organizations, refused asylum seekers and those without legal leave to remain, generating their views on the impact of this high-profile campaign. Although it has been almost a year since the vans have been taken back to the garage, preliminary findings show that their presence continues to reverberate in the lives of many migrants. While the official withdrawal of these infamous mobile objects could have publicly marked the end of the campaign, many migrants have continued to experience violence and stigmatization in other forms and in different settings. In addition to the increasing community level checks and harassment of people suspected of having an irregular status, the migrants we interviewed cited reporting centres as hidden sites where people are consistently bombarded with the language of ‘Go Home’. Individuals are also being routinely searched and harassed, and having mobile phones with cameras being confiscated in order to ensure that what happens in these securely guarded places does not leak to the outside world.

Continue reading The enduring presence of the now parked ‘Go Home Van’

North and South: ‘A little fierce incendiary’

By Vanessa Pupavac

‘Church and King, and down with the Rump!’ So toasts the aristocratic grandfather in Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel North and South. (http://books.wwnorton.com/books/North-and-South/ ) But Gaskell’s 1855 novel engages with building a modern industrial nation, and specifically rejects the political and social order embodied in the old Cavalier anti-parliamentary toast. Her engagement with the challenges posed by industrialisation has insights for today’s global North-South relations and their future direction. Consider the current civil unrest in Hong Kong (http://libcom.org/black-yellow-hk), or the growing strikes in China questioning the official representation of the harmonious society (https://www.jacobinmag.com/2012/08/china-in-revolt/). This month’s opening of the newly restored Elizabeth Gaskell House (http://www.elizabethgaskellhouse.co.uk/) is therefore a good time to open North and South to more readers. What is to be found there? Gaskell’s plot has strong parallels with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, where a parson’s daughter from the South of England overcomes her prejudices towards a factory owner from the smoky industrial town of Milton in Darkshire.

Continue reading North and South: ‘A little fierce incendiary’

The representation of women in politics, addressing the supply side: Public attitudes to job-sharing parliamentarians

By Philip Cowley Dr Rosie Campbell 

Job shares – in which two or more people working on a part-time basis share the same fulltime position – are an increasingly common form of employment. A 2012 BIS survey found that job-sharing was available to 43% of employees.  One group currently not able to job-share in the UK are elected politicians – but there are moves afoot to change this.

This new article (£), just published by the journal British Politics, sets out to see what the British electorate’s reaction to such arrangements might be. It finds no great support for the introduction of job-sharing candidates but nor does it detect overwhelming opposition. Just over a third of respondents were in favour of job sharing or said they would support job share candidates; just over a third took the opposing position; and around a quarter said that they did not know.

Continue reading The representation of women in politics, addressing the supply side: Public attitudes to job-sharing parliamentarians