Insulated from the storm: reflections from Conservative Party Conference

It is fair to say that both of the main Parties were facing significant questions on unity and leadership heading into this conference season. The Conservatives in Manchester this week were far more successful in insulating the atmosphere of their annual get together from these challenges. It simply didn’t have the feel of a PartyRead more

Reflections on Manchester: the top ten things WA learnt this week

Commentators and pundits have broadly agreed that this week’s Conservative Party conference wasn’t a huge success. A flat atmosphere, no clear future direction, and of course, that speech. Here WA’s team on the ground – Jenny Ousbey, Peter Jones, Bobbie Davies, Angus Hill and Aaron Yamoah – share their collective insights from Manchester:   FirstRead more

Is anyone listening? Liberal Democrat Party Conference 2017

Liberal Democrat delegates gathered in Bournemouth in mixed spirits last weekend (16-19 September). While they regained some of their big names at the election in June, they had higher hopes than going from nine to twelve MPs. They started the election hoping to be the voice of Remainers, the 48 per cent, and called themselvesRead more

A solid, appealing speech wrapped in poor delivery

Ed Miliband’s speech to Labour party conference this afternoon was 70 minutes long and at times, a strange experience to listen to. His tendency to make points by drawing on references to meetings with ‘normal people’ – Rosie, Xiomara, Gareth and more – is becoming slightly tedious.  At worst, it just reminds one of theRead more

Conservative Conference: The Leader’s Speech

Party conference season is over, and with it, comes the birth of a new hand gesture. Whilst unlikely to catch on with the kids, we may be seeing the Prime Minister repeatedly pointing skywards in future PMQs. In yesterday’s hour long party conference speech David Cameron declared jobs are up, construction is up, business confidenceRead more

Conservative Conference: George goes long

Ed Miliband’s energy price freeze announcement, the centre-piece of his conference address last week, has provided Conservative strategists with a dilemma. Despite the concerns and potential flaws in the policy (which commentators and various industry figures have been quick to highlight), a commitment to freezing energy prices has a popular appeal and is something votersRead more

2015: Battle of the Freebies

An election is the endgame in the battle of political ideas. They are won and lost through personalities, politics and policies – and pounds and pennies. Both main parties are sharply aware that the electorate is tired of austerity. Labour denounces the cuts as an iniquitous attempt to foist the hardship onto those least ableRead more

Lib Dem Conference: An Exercise in Differentiation

Party conferences are strange events. An amalgamation of party activists, politicians, third sector representatives and public affairs professionals mix to discuss some pressing (and some not so pressing) policy issues. It creates a sort of bubble, in which people forget external realities. The weirdest part, however, is how little you glean from what is actuallyRead more