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Category archive for: Party Politics

Keeping it real? Corbyn, Trump, Sanders and the politics of authenticity

Written by Mathew Humphrey and Maiken Umbach. 

His words have not been scripted or prepared for the press; he speaks from the heart.

It’s now clear to every voter that [he] is nothing but himself.

No Bullshit. Unvarnished opinion and beliefs.

One of these statements recently was made about Donald Trump, the man causing upset in the race to become the Republican presidential candidate. Another was made in reference to Bernie Sanders, the candidate causing similar upset among the Democrats. Another referred to Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the British Labour party. But which statement refers to which politician? It is, of course, impossible to tell.

Despite the radically different stances of these candidates on all kinds of issues, the statements about them are entirely interchangeable. They all refer to a single quality, taken by many to be a great asset in political life. All of these candidates are considered “authentic”. Continue reading Keeping it real? Corbyn, Trump, Sanders and the politics of authenticity

2015 Portuguese Legislative Elections: between Stability and Disaffection

Written by Luís de Sousa and Fernando Casal Bértoa.

On the morning of the 5th of October 2015, the 115th birthday of the implantation of the Portuguese Republic (5th October 1910), one of the bank holidays that have been eliminated by the centre-right government during the troikian period, the Portuguese woke-up with an expected autumn rainy day and a taste of sweet and sour in their mouth. Portugal re-elected the centre-right Portugal Ahead coalition formed by the ruling Social Democrats (PSD) and Christian-Democrats (CDS/PP) responsible for negotiating and implementing the bailout. The question in everybody’s mind is why Portuguese voters have not sanctioned at the ballot box the executors of the austerity measures responsible for their hardship in the last four years? Moreover, why in clear contrast to other countries (e.g. Italy, Greece, Spain) where austerity policies have favoured the formation and electoral success of totally new parties (e.g. Five-Stars Movement, ANEL, Podemos), no new party (e.g. Democratic Republican Party, Free/Time to move Forward) managed to enter parliament? Continue reading 2015 Portuguese Legislative Elections: between Stability and Disaffection

Tim Farron wins Liberal Democrat leadership contest

By Andrew Denham and Matthew Francis

How do you rebuild a political party after an electoral calamity? That was the question facing the Liberal Democrats when deciding who should replace Nick Clegg as their leader.

Now the party has chosen Tim Farron to replace Clegg – a decision that could help bring back a spirit of optimism in a party battered by five years of government with the Conservatives.

After being reduced from 57 MPs in 2010 to just eight in 2015 – numbers reminiscent of the Liberal Party of the 1950s – the Lib Dems now face a difficult path back to political significance, let alone power.

Continue reading Tim Farron wins Liberal Democrat leadership contest

Why the established parties are in trouble on immigration

By Matthew Goodwin

Which political party do voters back on immigration?

It is a question that has been asked during many election campaigns in the past and one that has influenced the strategies of the main parties. Ever since the 1960s, the most popular answer given by voters was the Conservative Party.

Historically, the centre right has held a strong advantage on this issue, being seen as the party that is most likely to deliver on what consistently around seven in ten voters want to see; a reduction in the level of immigration into the country. Despite concerns among some Tory ‘modernisers’ about possible reputational damage, the simple reality is that the Conservative Party has traditionally remained closest to public opinion on this issue and has been rewarded accordingly.

Continue reading Why the established parties are in trouble on immigration

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?

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