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You get what you vote for

You get what you vote for

I grew up in Rochdale. The town is classic ex-cotton Lancashire. Deindustrialised with little other than shopping and warehousing left – and the shops are largely gone. The town itself isn’t that big. Much of “Rochdale” is the communities that surround it – Littleborough, Milnrow, Whitworth, Heywood. The council dubbed these “townships”. In the 1980s. Yeah… Just as I grew up in the “township” of Wardle, communities of people originally from India, Pakistan, Kashmir and Bangladesh clustered into their own…

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Analysing yesterday’s by-elections

Analysing yesterday’s by-elections

There have been 21 by elections so far this parliament. What prospects do the results show for the government at the next general election? Let’s start by leaving aside a) the two SNP defences, as neither involved the Conservatives as the main challenging party, and b) Southend West, due to the special circumstances in which no major party challenged the defending Conservatives. This leaves us with 18 contests. The swing from Conservatives to the main challenger (Labour in 14, Liberal…

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The State of Process – The Process State

The State of Process – The Process State

Understand procedure, understand warUnderstand rules, regulations – Forever Failure, Draconian Time album, Paradise Lost Consider a few straws in the wind – The National Trust plans to spend £250,000 on a footbridge a dozen feet long.– “..it is estimated that social workers spend between 12% and 20% of their time working directly with children and families, the remainder being spend on administrative tasks”–Prosecutions based on computer algorithm. Despite the results being self evidently insane, the prosecutions were expanded. Aside from making a…

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Election postponed

Election postponed

There is much betting interest on the date of the next general election. Might it be in May, or November? The one thing we do know is that it can’t be any later than January 2025, because that’s the deadline set by law. Of course, in theory, the law could be changed, although to do so would be a constitutional outrage barring some national emergency. Yet there is one part of the UK where this is happening right now, for…

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A date with destiny, a place in history?

A date with destiny, a place in history?

Is Rishi Sunak using a crystal ball and the dark arts to select his most propitious General Election date?    Maybe.  Or perhaps he is using careful polling and political analysis to plot a comeback-kid route victory?   Then again, he could be playing the Mr. Micawber strategy – something will turn up.  Surely? A few PBers have recently suggested that since he knows the game is up, Sunak is simply stringing out his Premiership to the maximum, to move himself as…

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Boris to lead Reform UK?

Boris to lead Reform UK?

Assume for a moment that you are Boris, and that you would like to be Prime Minister again. What are your prospects of regaining the Tory leadership? Before the GE? Nearly zero. You aren’t an MP, and Sunak has made it clear that you’re not going to be a candidate under his leadership. After the GE? Well, maybe. But someone else will have been made leader post-Sunak. Will they be in a hurry to welcome a rival back in a…

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Why it won’t be ‘The Sun wot won it’ in 2024

Why it won’t be ‘The Sun wot won it’ in 2024

The Sun famously claimed it had won the election for John Major’s Tories in 1992.  Rupert Murdoch later denied that claim, telling the Leveson Inquiry that the ‘Won It’ headline had been “tasteless and wrong”, adding: “we don’t have that sort of power” (although the Mandy Rice-Davies principle applies here of course). The Sun’s 1992 claim has to be filed under ‘Unprovable’, but with the largest UK daily circulation at the time of 3.8m copies, and a relentless anti-Labour campaign…

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Finland

Finland

Introduction In my recent entry in the Measurement series, I was chastised by @Cleitophon who pointed out that he came here for “…brutal empirical analysis about the electoral landscape – not this ephemeral theory…”. It’s a fair point, and one that I share. So, what empirical analysis can my small brain bring you? Let’s try the 2024 Finnish Presidential election, the first round of which is 28 January 2024. Finland What do I know about Finland? Not a lot. I…

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