Will Douglas Carswell’s defection lose Cameron the general election?

The shock news that Conservative MP for Clacton, Douglas Carswell, is defecting to UKIP and triggering a by-election in which he’ll run against his former party, is perhaps one of those decisive moments that will influence the outcome of the general election. Lord Ashcroft’s polling of eight Conservative marginal seats, conducted earlier this week, showedRead more

Salmond won the battle, but will it help win the war?

This morning’s front pages confirmed it: Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond won the second and final TV debate of the Scottish independence referendum in Glasgow yesterday evening. While it was an unedifying display, Mr Salmond’s tactic of hectoring and shouting was effective. Alistair Darling, the former Labour Chancellor and Chair of the Better Together campaign, gaveRead more

NICE approvals – stormy waters

Controversy over which drugs NICE approves and which it doesn’t is rarely out of the news, but of late there has been a particular burst of interest. With healthcare a key election concern, what are the prospects up to and beyond May 2015? Treatment of rare and specialist conditions presents a particular challenge, especially whenRead more

Investing and political risk

It has become commonplace to talk about UK political risk, and the problems it can create for the business and finance community. With the Scottish independence referendum approaching, a general election that by modern standards offers an unusually divergent set of choices about policy, and potential EU renegotiation on the horizon, the macro-risks are clearRead more

A war of words on welfare

This summer sees Labour embarking on a whirlwind policy drive with all the major shadow team members giving speeches as part of the party’s ‘The Choice’ campaign. So far there have been major speeches from the likes of Shadow Health Minister Andy Burnham and Shadow Housing Minister Emma Reynolds. Most have seen some traction inRead more

Silly season speculation?

As we enter August and the world of Westminster winds down somewhat, we arrive at that part of the political calendar endearingly known as ‘silly season’. With Government announcements thin on the ground, attention turns to speculation and reflections regarding the coming period. This summer, being the last before a general election is seeing greaterRead more

Labour and the NHS – Politics vs Policy?

The NHS is an election issue Labour wants to focus on.  It has pride of place in the party’s summer offensive, as opposition frontbenchers make speeches and announcements in the run up to this year’s conference in Manchester.  This is the start of presenting voters with ‘The Choice’ for next May.  And last week AndyRead more