Toby James

Five tests for the next Labour Leader

In this article, Toby S. James argues that there are five central tasks that the next Labour Leader must achieve in order to be successful: build up momentum in the opinion polls, develop a reputation for competence on the economy, manage the party, win the battle of ideas, and bend the rules of the game.

Selecting a replacement for Ed Miliband has […]

Measures of Prime Ministerial performance indicate Tony Blair was a great leader but voters do not seem to be assessing him as kindly

Jim Buller and Toby James provides insights for assessing Prime Ministers and argues that using their framework suggests that Tony Blair was very successful. However, poll numbers suggest that support for the Liberals would drop were he to take the helm from Ed Miliband. Earlier in the summer, there was some speculation that Tony Blair may yet dramatically return as Prime Minister. When […]

UK electoral law is fragmented, convoluted and causing errors in the running of elections. It needs to be consolidated

Toby James discusses the convoluted nature of electoral law in the UK. He argues that a reduction in the complexity will lead to a significant improvement in the conduct of elections in the UK. A quick quiz question: how many pieces of electoral law do you think that electoral administrators have to consider when running elections? Have a guess. Answer: The Electoral Commission has estimated that there over […]

Changes to electoral registration procedures may have significant implications for registration levels and electoral outcomes

Registering to vote must be simple and convenient. New research by Toby S. James shows that individual electoral registration, by itself, will lead to a decline in registration levels. The government can do more in the Electoral Registration and Administration Bill to improve levels of registration. In the 1980s American academics Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward, alongside the organisation Human SERVE, campaigned […]

UK electoral registration levels are already low by international standards, but new plans to change registration may make things even worse.

Alongside a suite of other constitutional reforms, the coalition government also plans to change electoral registration from household to individual registration. Toby S. James argues that this change will be expensive to implement and will actually lead to a decline in registration levels, something that the UK can ill afford given its current poor international ranking in this area. The […]