Making policy, taking decisions – continuity and change in the policy-making process

With the transition from coalition to majority government comes a change in how government policy is formed. Half the Cameron-Clegg-Osborne-Alexander quad, the coalition’s top decision-making forum, has been evicted from office. Understanding how to inform what the new government does means getting to grips with its governing style, power relationships and policy-making functions. Despite theRead more

Preparing for the vote

The beginning of the summer recess – with MPs disappearing to their constituencies and off on their holidays – has ushered in a sense of calm following a somewhat hectic period at Westminster. Of course, not everything will grind to a halt. Osborne’s trip to France this week suggests the Chancellor is likely to remainRead more

Future Conservative leaders – old guard or rising star?

“Terms are like Shredded Wheat – two are wonderful but three might just be too many”. That was Cameron’s explanation when he announced at the start of the election campaign that he would not stand for a third term as prime minister. Unlike certain predecessors, Cameron has been clear that he will not go onRead more

Cameron’s Children: the 2015 intake and the future of the party

Dubbed by ConservativeHome as ‘Cameron’s Children’, 74 new Conservative MPs were elected in 2015. They make up over a fifth of the parliamentary party and as such who they are, what they think and what they go on to do will help shape the direction of the Conservative Party for some time to come. OneRead more

Cameron and Osborne – perfect partners in delivery

Like an effective version of Blair and Brown, Cameron and Osborne’s partnership has been the dominant force within the Conservative party for almost a decade. The smooth and effective operation of this partnership at the very top of government is not adequately commented upon.  In contrast to the Labour years, it is remarkable.   It hasRead more

Governing with a small majority

When Cameron returned to No.10 in May, comparisons were immediately drawn with John Major, the last Conservative prime minister to win a majority. Major maintained a short-lived semblance of stability through a coercive whips office, which just about managed to keep the backbenchers appeased. However, although the situations are cosmetically similar there are some crucial differences. A slim parliamentary majority and a major focus onRead more

The Liberal Democrats: the yellow phoenix rises?

The lacklustre battle for the future of the Labour party continues to make the news – in Westminster, at least. But tomorrow, another leadership announcement takes place. Either Norman Lamb or Tim Farron will be appointed leader of the Liberal Democrats, and will set out a plan to rebuild the party after its crushing defeatRead more

Osborne’s new settlement

Delivering the first Conservative budget since 1996, the Chancellor George Osborne yesterday made a statement of the new government’s ambition, purpose and political territory. Aiming to move the UK towards a ‘higher wage, lower tax, lower welfare country’, Osborne stated that he was presenting ‘a new settlement’.   This is indeed the case, as OsborneRead more