The blog so far

We’re now at the end of the academic year. Undergraduates have gone home, staff have gone on holiday or more likely are writing articles, books and presenting to conferences. Me? The department building is getting refurbished, so I’m working from home.

Quite a lot has happened to me since I started my PhD last year. I’ve presented a proper paper at an academic conference for the first time, and then had that paper accepted for publication. I’ve officially graduated from my Masters degree. I’ve had ten months of PhD study, writing about party organisation theory, party system theory, and designing a questionnaire for distribution. I’ve also started and maintained this blog, and I’d like to share some thoughts about it has evolved so far, and how it might continue to evolve. Continue reading The blog so far

What chance of a Liberal Democrat gain in 2015?

For the Liberal Democrats, next year’s general election is all about damage limitation. As Philip Cowley said in June:

The news that no Lib Dem MP campaigned in Newark (by election where the Lib Dems polled 2.6%) is a sign of a party that is sensibly marshalling resources.

As outlined in further detail here, the priority for the Liberal Democrats is no longer picking up 20% of the vote and second place in every constituency in the land. In the short term at least, there is no chance of that happening. The priority is to maintain support in those seats where they have MPs and resources.

The question at the top of the page might then seem a bit odd. What chance of a Liberal Democrat gain in 2015?  Last month, Ladbrokes outlined five seats that they might have a chance of gaining: Montgomeryshire, Watford, Oxford West & Abingdon, Ashfield, and Maidstone & The Weald. I’d like to focus on one of them in particular (Oxford West & Abingdon), then add a couple more of my own: Harrogate & Knaresborough, and Winchester. Continue reading What chance of a Liberal Democrat gain in 2015?

Constituency odds – an update

Back in April, I blogged about Ladbrokes’ decision to open betting markets on individual constituencies ahead of next year’s general election. I particularly pointed out four constituencies  that might be especially interesting: Bath, Brighton Pavilion, Redcar and Wells. In this post, I’d like to give an update to see if there’s been much change in the last three months. Continue reading Constituency odds – an update

Ed Davey on prospects of coalition in 2015


Taken from LibDemVoice.

Huffington Post are reporting on their website that Ed Davey has predicted a Liberal Democrat-Labour coalition after 2015. This is based on an answer he gave to a question asked at the Social Liberal Forum conference on Saturday. Since it was yours truly that asked the question, I thought that my own perspective on it might be useful. Originally, I decided not to blog too heavily on his comments – especially as he’d asked the audience to respect his right to speak freely in a small Q+A without being publicly broadcast. I blog now on it only in light of Huffington Post publishing his answer.* Continue reading Ed Davey on prospects of coalition in 2015

Social Liberal Forum Conference

On Saturday, I went to the Social Liberal Forum Conference, held in the Amnesty International Building in Shoreditch, London. The event was well attended by Liberal Democrat members and activists (I was there in an academic capacity). Speakers included Tim Farron MP, Vince Cable MP and Ed Davey MP.  Continue reading Social Liberal Forum Conference