British and Irish Politics and Policy

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    Democratic rights Vs. expected outcomes: why do citizens support referendums?

Democratic rights Vs. expected outcomes: why do citizens support referendums?

Whether or not to hold a referendum on Brexit is a clear dividing line between parties in the upcoming UK general election. However, Philipp Harms and Claudia Landwehr argue that support for such a measure is often largely contingent on expected outcomes, and so can entrench political divides. More deliberative democratic innovations might therefore be better suited to resolving […]

Forecasting the popular vote in the 2019 General Election

Philippe Mongrain estimates that the Conservatives will win around 37% of the popular vote and Labour around 29%. This confirms that, while a Conservative majority government is not out of reach, a minority government appears much more likely.

Forecasting the upcoming general election is both puzzling, not least because, unlike past elections, traditional bread-and-butter issues will not be at the […]

What a Scottish independence referendum in 2020 would mean

With independence competing with Brexit as the predominant political issue in Scotland, the Scottish Government has called for a second independence referendum to take place by the end of 2020. Anthony Salamone argues that, even if the UK Government were to agree, this timetable would be ambitious and could limit the deliberative nature of the referendum.

Even without Brexit, Westminster […]

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    How much might the polls change? Looking back to 2010, 2015, and 2017

How much might the polls change? Looking back to 2010, 2015, and 2017

Now in our second week of the general election campaign, the polls continue to shift, with the Conservatives and Labour gaining ground, and the Liberal Democrats and Brexit Party on a downward trajectory. In his second blog of the campaign, Joe Greenwood considers these changes with reference to movements in support in the previous three general elections.

In my blog […]

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    Forecasting the 2019 General Election using the PM and the Pendulum model

Forecasting the 2019 General Election using the PM and the Pendulum model

Using a forecasting model that captures both the cyclical nature of the competition for power and the important role of prime ministers in elections, Matthew Lebo and Stephen Fisher predict 311 Conservative seats to 268 for Labour.

Rafael Behr said of 2018’s local election results that “Brexit has caused Britain’s political pendulum to stick.” Maybe the forthcoming general election will […]

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    The government’s refusal to release the ‘Russian interference’ report is part of a worrying pattern of obstruction

The government’s refusal to release the ‘Russian interference’ report is part of a worrying pattern of obstruction

Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee has produced a report into Russian interference in UK politics, but it cannot be published without government approval. Andrew Defty explains that Number 10’s failure to release the report before Parliament was dissolved is the latest in a series of government actions that have hindered effective parliamentary scrutiny of the intelligence and security services. […]

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    How economic insecurity encourages political activism and support for the right

How economic insecurity encourages political activism and support for the right

Walter Bossert, Andrew E. Clark, Conchita D’Ambrosio, and Anthony Lepinteur explain how insecurity affects political outcomes. Specifically, they find that rather than encouraging a withdrawal from politics, economic insecurity seems to encourage political activism, and in particular support for the right.

Economic insecurity is attracting growing attention in social, academic, and policy circles. It has arguably risen for a number […]

Why manifestos matter more than ever in the age of Brexit

David Thackeray and Richard Toye explain how manifestos came to be increasingly central to the practice of governing, as well as the various ambiguities that surround these documents and their purpose.

In June 2019, three years after the UK voted to leave the European Union, Conservative Party members in Bracknell passed a motion of no confidence in their MP, […]