In a survey by the Political Studies Association, the minimum wage was judged to be the best policy of recent decades . Devolution, Sure Start, the Human Rights Act, the smoking ban, and the Northern Ireland peace process were also highly rated, as was ‘privatisation’, a policy which divides opinion. Read more
Eight Brexit related Bills will be put before Parliament in the coming months. Connect’s Managing Partner, Andy Sawford, gives the low down on what the different Bills are, why they are needed, and what the prospects are for gaining Parliamentary approval. Read more
- The next government will be Conservative led, supported by the Democratic Unionist Party.
- Theresa May is continuing as Prime Minister. Her future is uncertain – remember that the Conservatives are famously ruthless at dispatching their Leaders. Ruth Davidson is the Conservative’s star of this election, with 13 gains in Scotland.
- Jeremy Corbyn will continue as Labour leader, strengthened by Labour’s better than expected performance, making gains across the country. Canterbury is Labour for the first time in a hundred years and Labour have gained Kensington. Expect more of the ‘let Corbyn be Corbyn’ strategy, with Labour doubling down on more radical policies.
- The SNP had a bad night, although coming from a high base. The Liberal Democrats had an ok result, gaining four seats overall, but not the breakthrough they were hoping for, and Nick Clegg is out of Parliament. UKIP’s vote share crashed and Paul Nuttal has resigned, with a Nigel Farage comeback possible. Caroline Lucas was returned for the Greens. Plaid gained a seat in Wales.
- Some Ministers have lost their seats and there will be a major reshuffle of the Government and the opposition frontbench. There will therefore be many new Ministers and Shadow’s to engage with.
- Policy is in flux. The Conservative manifesto will not be implemented in full, partly because of the Parliamentary arithmetic, and partly because that manifesto itself is seen as being a contributor to the Conservative’s loss.
- Brexit will happen, but not fully as planned by Theresa May when she triggered Article 50. The timetable remains the same in terms of the end date, despite the delay in getting the negotiations started.
- Parliament will be more important, with every vote on a knife edge in the Commons, and the Lords playing a stronger role.
- There could be another General Election this year. It would be very likely, were it not for the Brexit timetable.
- Public Affairs support is more important than ever in these extraordinary times – Connect are here to help.
Sir Winston Churchill, February 16, 1922:
“The whole map of Europe has been changed … but as the deluge subsides and the waters fall short we see the dreary steeples of Fermanagh and Tyrone emerging once again.” Read more
The opinion polls are narrowing but even allowing for a 3% error margin in Labour’s favour (although historically they have under-recorded Conservative Party support) Theresa May on these figures will secure a majority in the House of Commons. In fact, the Conservatives only need to win 45 seats to have a ‘landslide’ – a total of 375 seats, more than 100 more than all the other political parties put together. The question on everyone’s lips – apart from whether the polls will continue to narrow – is, where will the opposition come from if she is triumphant on June 8th? Read more
For most people the Progressive Alliance is an abstract concept at best, consigned to the fringes of party conferences. Not so for the political anoraks among us, particularly those on the left. For many of us it has become an issue of urgent focus since the disappointment of the 2015 general election, and given greater prominence since by senior figures from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party. Read more
Important local government elections are taking place across the UK today. In Scotland, the results will tell us much about the state of the parties and views on our ever-present constitutional question. Read more