Skip to content

Category: Conservatives

A free vote: This May be the lifeline Theresa needs

Written by Thomas Eason

Political turmoil has become something of a feature in British politics since the Brexit referendum. Time and time again Prime Minister Theresa May has faced down calls for her resignation and speculation about her suitability for office. Yesterday, the Prime Minister presented her draft Brexit deal to Parliament, creating a major political backlash that appears to present her greatest leadership challenge yet. After a gruelling few hours answering questions in Parliament about the Brexit deal, it’s clear she is unlikely to get her way in the Commons. In this chaotic context, there has been speculation over whether May will give her MPs a free vote – a vote in which MPs are allowed to vote without instruction from party managers. In this blog I explore how a free vote could impact May’s future as PM and argue that it might just be a much needed lifeline for the Prime Minister.

General Election 2017: Will Wales wake up feeling blue on June 9th?

Written by Siim Trumm.

The electoral pendulum is in full swing in Wales. Only in the course of last few months have the polls gone from showing a narrow Labour lead to suggesting a historic Conservatives’ majority to indicating a Labour triumph. Whether a lot of Welsh voters will wake up on June the 9th feeling blue because the country is not blue enough or too blue seems to be anyone’s guess, but one thing is certain, this is gearing up to be one of the most unpredictable elections in Wales.

The Red Tory manifesto?

Written by Helen Williams.

Theresa May’s manifesto for the Conservative and Unionist Party in the 2017 general election has faced a critical, if generally favourable, reception. One of the more remarkable evaluations is that it is a ‘Red Tory’ manifesto. An alternative to ‘Blue Labour’, a Red Tory manifesto blends social conservatism with economic policies tailored to workers.

To what extent does this resonate with the contents of Mrs May’s manifesto?

Theresa May and the art of political forgetting: a special way to use and abuse history

Written by Oliver Daddow.

The only thing more overtly political than the production of history is the instrumental and often cynical use and abuse of history by politicians. They are forever legitimising their actions by co-opting history to their side.

Depending on requirement, politicians sometimes construct their actions as moving with the tides of history. At other times, they set out to drive a wedge between “then” and “now”. Creating a rupture with the past opens new narrative spaces which elites can fill with fresh information more in line with their current interests.

Delusions and meddling: 30 years of Tory Euroscepticism are coming to the fore

Written by Oliver Daddow.

Playing to domestic galleries has always been the default setting for UK politicians when it comes to European policy. In this process, a largely EU-hostile UK press market has played a significant role in both feeding political negativity about the EU and having it reflected back in political discourse. Historically, this has not gone down well with the UK’s European partners. Even notionally pro-European governments have struggled to break the mould. The content of the Brexit negotiations, combined with a febrile election atmosphere, was never going to be conducive to cool, studied diplomacy.

Snap election a win-win for Theresa May: she’ll crush Labour and make Brexit a little easier

Written by Tim Bale.

So Theresa May, it turns out, is only human. After months of denying she was going to do it, the British prime minister decided to call an early general election – first and foremost because she knows she’s going to win.

Indeed, she’s not just going to win; she’s going to win big. Contrary to common wisdom, bookies don’t necessarily know better than opinion pollsters when it comes to predicting political events, but they know a racing certainty when they see one. Within minutes of the PM’s announcement, one national chain was giving odds of 2/9 on an overall majority for the Conservatives, with Labour out on 14/1.

John Major at 25: the best ex-Prime Minister we’ve ever had?

Written by Mark Stuart.

Twenty-five years ago this weekend, John Major was supposed to be celebrating his greatest political triumph. For the previous month, he had been campaigning around the country, and had just discovered that he had unexpectedly won the 1992 General Election, confounding the opinion pollsters, who had predicted a victory for Neil Kinnock’s Labour Party. Prophetically, however, when Major commented to his wife Norma that his Conservative Government had been re-elected, she had fallen fast asleep. Almost immediately, Major’s Second Government had fallen flat.

Copeland byelection: Historic win for the Conservatives puts them on course for a long period in office

Written by Ben Williams.

The Copeland and Stoke Central byelections have delivered dramatic political developments for Britain. Both previously Labour-held seats, the byelections were triggered by two sitting MPs who took jobs outside politics.

The Cumbrian semi-rural seat of Copeland was seized by the Conservatives – the first time the main opposition party has lost a seat it was defending in a byelection since 1982.

2017: Where do the U.K.’s political parties stand now?

Written by Glen O’Hara.

So, it’s the New Year, and there’s a long, long list of things to get through. There’ll be the French and German elections, the onset of the Trump administration in the US, and policy questions galore. Will the UK be able to disentangle itself from the European Union without a great deal of economic pain and wasted bureaucratic energy? Will Russia be happy to trade a more muscular American foreign policy for a more semi-detached stance from Uncle Sam in Europe? Will rising interest rates slow growth? How long can China continue to fuel the world economy? All these questions will be to the fore in 2017. For now, let’s kick off the year with a review of where British politics stands right now, shall we? We can take each party in turn if you’d like.

Academics rate David Cameron among worst post-war prime ministers

Written by Kevin Theakston.

David Cameron has been rated one of the worst performing post-war prime ministers in a survey of university academics specialising in British politics and contemporary British history.

Only Anthony Eden, whose career was destroyed by the Suez crisis, and Alec Douglas-Home, prime minister for only a year before he lost the 1964 general election, were ranked lower than Cameron in the league table of prime ministers who have served since 1945.

These results come from the third in a series of surveys the University of Leeds has carried out in conjunction with research company Woodnewton Associates and prior to that MORI. Similar polls, producing prime ministerial rankings, were conducted in 2004 and 2010. This is the first to include David Cameron as leader, but it excludes Theresa May. (The online poll was conducted in September 2016.)