Eric Shaw

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    Labour faces important strategic challenges as new social cleavages emerge

Labour faces important strategic challenges as new social cleavages emerge

How do voters decide on which party to support? Eric Shaw explains that, rather than being ‘rational’, most people follow cognitive short-cuts, reaching conclusion on the basis of their perceptions of economic competence and the quality of party leadership. Labour faces issues on both of these counts: Ed Miliband is widely regarded as a weak leader and the public […]

Experts react to the European election results

As anticipated by polls leading up to the vote, UKIP has won the European Parliament elections with the highest share of the vote and the most MEPs elected. Meanwhile, the Lib Dems have seen a near total wipe-out, going from 11 MEPs to 1 and dropping to fifth place behind the Green Party. Labour has come in second, only […]

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    Labour’s position on a referendum is now pretty clear, but Ed Miliband’s speech is unlikely to buttress his leadership credentials

Labour’s position on a referendum is now pretty clear, but Ed Miliband’s speech is unlikely to buttress his leadership credentials

Ed Miliband declared that Labour will no commit to an EU referendum unless there were a transfer of powers to Brussels. Eric Shaw ponders the significance of the announcement and whether it does anything to help Labour and Miliband’s leadership credentials. As for its electoral impact, the speech will probably make little difference either way.

Ed Miliband has announced, in a […]

Labour’s problem is that many now identify the party with social security ‘scroungers’ and immigrants

Social identities and perceptions of social cleavages have not lost their mobilising capacity: they have been reconfigured, argues Eric Shaw. People are less likely, for example, to see themselves (in a politically significant way) as working class but as respectable ‘hard-working families’. The problem that Miliband and the Labour party have is that many people associate them with benefit claimants and immigrants. […]

Ed Miliband is a leader under siege, and the struggle for the heart of Labour is ongoing

It was probably the sense of his own isolation that induced Ed Miliband to make his ill-judged and impulsive decision to push for a radical reform of the party-union connection, writes Eric Shaw. Labour continues to be fractured between Blairites and Brownites, and Miliband finds himself under siege; with poor personal ratings, without a power base and undermined from within his own […]

Ed Miliband’s proposed reforms to the relationship between the Labour party and its affiliated trade unions reveal the ongoing struggle for the heart of Labour

Ed Miliband was under intense pressure to take action and distance the Labour party from strong union influence following the selection scandal in Falkirk. Eric Shaw examines these proposals and argues that the suggested changes do not really form a coherent programme. He asks why this has come about and sees it as an ongoing struggle for the heart of the […]