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Ballots & Bullets | School of Politics & International Relations, University of Nottingham Posts

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”.

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.

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

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.

Euroscepticism during the debt crisis in Portugal and the mass media´s focus on national politics

Written by Britta Baumgarten and Vicente Valentim.

Portugal was one of the countries most affected by the European sovereign debt crisis. Following the external IMF/EU intervention on the country in 2011, the economic crisis and the current and future state of the European Union became a major theme in the public debate in the country.

Socio-economic drivers of the 2016 Italian referendum vote

Written by Silvia Merler.

On December 4th 2016, Italy held a constitutional referendum in which almost 60% of the voters decided against a reform proposed by the government. The vote triggered the resignation of Prime Minister Renzi and opened a phase of political transition that will lead to new elections in 2018. In light of the elections ahead it is important to understand the factors driving this vote.

Digital campaigning and the 2017 election: The rise of Facebook and satellite campaigns

Written by Kate Dommett and Luke Temple.

Digital technology is now central to political campaigns and in the 2017 General Election we think there were two developments that have important implications for UK politics. The first was the developing role of Facebook. The second concerns what we describe as ‘satellite campaigns’. Both of these complicate election regulation law, and raise questions about whether parties still have control over their campaigns.

Young voters and their “never Tory” mindset: the making of a Labour generation?

Written by Anja Neundorf and Thomas J. Scotto.

Beyond the tallying of votes, elections serve as important events which heighten the importance of politics in the minds of many citizens. For young people, the event of their first election can leave behind an endurable mark on their future voting behaviour. Given the apparent increased mobilisation and massive Labour support among young voters, we speculate here about what to expect from this generation in future elections.

After Brexit, should the UK just join the EEA?

Written by Christopher McCrudden.

As Brexit negotiations get underway, it is becoming increasingly difficult to see how the UK can pursue its former “have your cake and eat it” strategy, particularly when it comes to a trade deal.

Some of the most ardent Brexiteers want a totally clean break from the EU. Under this model, the UK would leave both the customs union and the single market. But after the general election, this “hard Brexit” now seems highly unlikely.

Ruth Davidson, the Queen of Scots who will be the Tory party’s saviour?

Written by Mark Stuart.

While the Prime Minister licks her wounds in England, another female Tory leader north of the Border has emerged as the new star of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party. Last Thursday, Ruth Davidson presided over a dozen spectacular gains for the Scottish Tories.

Remarkably, after years in the wilderness, Davidson engineered her Party’s best performance since 1983, including the spectacular toppling of former SNP leader, Alex Salmond in Gordon and the scalp of Angus Robertson, the Leader of the SNP’s Westminster MPs in Moray.