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    Britain’s surprising election: austerity and inequality make for angry and unpredictable voters

Britain’s surprising election: austerity and inequality make for angry and unpredictable voters

The unexpected result of the general election is just another case of voters punishing governments for their handling of the economy, writes Jonathan Hopkin. He argues citizens have had enough of an economic system that deliberately benefits only the few. Established political parties have failed to provide a vision for change, and so new political leaders who do so […]

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    How ‘groupthink’ in Theresa May’s Downing Street delivered another round of UK political chaos

How ‘groupthink’ in Theresa May’s Downing Street delivered another round of UK political chaos

The UK’s political turmoil has continued with the Conservatives’ disastrous 2017 campaign. But what led to the multiple miscalculations involved? Patrick Dunleavy argues that it forms part of a wider pattern of mis-governing from the centre of Whitehall that has characterized Theresa May’s leadership style from the outset.

All British Prime Ministers end their careers in failure. Either they are […]

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    Why party leader approval ratings do not predict election outcomes

Why party leader approval ratings do not predict election outcomes

Ahead of the 2015 general election, Jack Blumenau found a weak relationship between party leader approval ratings and election outcomes. In light of the 2017 election, he re-run the analysis and here he explains why the data confirmed his earlier conclusion.

During the 2015 UK general election I wrote a piece for the LSE election blog which looked at whether […]

A note on the use and abuse of electoral ambiguity

Navin Kartik, Richard Van Weelden, and Stephane Wolton argue that vagueness on the campaign trail can lead to better governance as it gives the election winner flexibility to adapt policy to changing circumstances. However, electorally advantaged candidates are almost always more ambiguous than their opponents and over-ambiguous from the voters’ perspective.

It is all too easy to find comments lamenting […]

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    Why the Conservatives may not be the party of sound finances after all

Why the Conservatives may not be the party of sound finances after all

The 2017 Conservative Manifesto promised “a strong economy built on sound public finances”. In this third and final article on the political economy of that manifesto, Abby Innes explains why the Conservative Party has, over its years in government, demonstrated a poor understanding of what free markets actually require.

The Conservative Manifesto promises it will be the party of sound […]

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    The manifestos on the NHS: sticking plasters for health and social care

The manifestos on the NHS: sticking plasters for health and social care

Tony Hockley reviews the Conservative and Labour pledges on health and social care and writes that both fail to offer a sustainable vision for long-term NHS funding. What’s worse, the two main parties continue to treat the NHS only as a treatment service, and so their promises neither reflect nor envision changes that would promote a more active living.

The […]

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    UK voters, including Leavers, care more about reducing non-EU than EU migration

UK voters, including Leavers, care more about reducing non-EU than EU migration

Despite the argument that Brexit was about sovereignty and only secondarily about immigration, new data suggest otherwise. Simon Hix, Eric Kaufmann, and Thomas J. Leeper show the importance of reducing immigration levels – especially from outside the EU – to British voters.

Brexit leaders such as Boris Johnson have maintained a narrative that sovereignty, not immigration, was the key motivation […]

How green are the manifestos? GE2017 and climate change

Sam Fankhauser and Sini Matikainen review what the manifestos of the Conservatives, Labour, and the Liberal Democrats contain on the environment. They argue that all three parties are committed to taking action, but there is a risk that climate change will be forgotten by a new government preoccupied with other issues.

Climate change and the environment do not feature prominently […]