By-elections: what do they really tell us?

The importance of parliamentary by-elections can often be exaggerated by those observing – and winning – them. In reality, while the results can dominate news headlines for 24 hours, their longer term implications are usually more limited and they rarely fundamentally alter the political landscape. The leader of the Liberal Democrats Tim Farron claimed atRead 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

The much anticipated debate: what does it all mean?

After months of dither, negotiations, excuses and concessions the TV debate which many thought would never happen has finally arrived. Despite low expectations about the benefits of a debate involving seven party leaders with the possible ‘winner’ being somebody that the majority of the electorate can’t even vote for; there is still a chance thatRead more

Follow the leader: Rules for party leadership elections

David Cameron’s announcement that he wouldn’t serve a third term makes the front pages of most of the newspapers today, and on Buzzfeed Lib Dem Secretary of State Vince Cable has heaped scorn on former party president Tim Farron’s leadership ambitions. Whatever the outcome of the general election at least one, and very possibly two, of the threeRead more

The Liberal Democrats – some considerations on negotiations (part two)

As I previously blogged, the Liberal Democrats are facing a difficult challenge over the next few weeks. With the general election less than three months away, the party is consciously trying to keep as many of its options open as possible to allow itself maximum manoeuvrability come May 8th. In both policy and political terms,Read more

Confidence and supply is coming

It’s become a truism in British politics that the upcoming election is too close to call. The vast majority of the respected political commentators are in agreement that the polls are presenting too mixed a picture to make any meaningful predictions about the outcome in May, and therefore the shape and programme of the nextRead more