Lib Dem pre-manifesto launched

The Liberal Democrats launched their pre-manifesto this morning, after postponing it last week due to events in the middle-east. The announcement of Kate and William’s baby won’t have helped matters this morning, but those I doubt the coverage would have been so much more noticeable without it. Continue reading Lib Dem pre-manifesto launched

The importance of 2010 Lib Dem voters

Electoral forecasters are not sure what will happen next year. To some, a Conservative majority is the most likely outcome. To others, a Labour majority. Most point out the possibility of a hung parliament with either side as the largest party.

National opinion polls tell us something about how this might pan out, but they can only give us so much. This is not one election, but 650 small elections that will then give us a parliament. Of utmost importance will be those people who voted Liberal Democrat in 2010. Some will stick with the party. Others will switch to Labour, Conservative, UKIP, Green or one of the nationalist parties. Some will not vote. How many switch to which party, and in which constituency, will be crucial in deciding a number of marginals up and down the country.

The following Twitter exchange between Mike Smithson and the Electoral Forecast UK team summarises the debate well. Continue reading The importance of 2010 Lib Dem voters

Politics at Newcastle University

images.jpgNewcastle University has released a new video to show the benefits of studying Politics here.

Although I’m now a PhD student, I also did my undergraduate in Politics at Newcastle from 2009 until 2012. Throughout my time here, I studied a range of aspects of politics, eventually narrowing down to British political parties and elections, which is my research field now. In my three years on the course, I benefited greatly from the expertise, advice and knowledge of the lecturers in the department, and I wouldn’t be doing PhD study now were it not for them.

The programme received excellent results in this year’s National Student Survey, has new exciting modules in the coming years, and allows you to live in Newcastle, a fantastic place to work and study.

Check out the video, or visit the department’s website here for more information.




Electoral Forecast (Hanretty, Lauderdale and Vivyan) (UPDATED)

Another electoral forecasting website has been set up, this time by Dr Chris Hanretty, Dr Benjamin Lauderdale and Dr Nick Vivyan. Their first prediction is as follows:

Party Lo Votes Hi Swing
Conservatives 29.2% 33.4% 37.6% -2.6%
Labour 28.0% 32.1% 36.1% 3.1%
Liberal Democrats 11.5% 14.6% 18.0% -8.4%
SNP 1.9% 2.5% 3.0% 0.8%
Plaid Cymru 0.7% 1.0% 1.3% 0.4%
Greens 1.5% 3.0% 4.8% 2.1%
UKIP 6.8% 9.4% 12.4% 6.3%
Other 2.2% 4.1% 6.2% -1.7%
Party LoW Seats HiGH Swing
Conservatives 243 299 360 -7
Labour 246 304 353 46
Liberal Democrats 3 15 33 -42
SNP 5 9 16 3
Plaid Cymru 3 3 5 0
Greens 0 0 1 -1
UKIP 0 0 0 0
Other 1 1 1 0

Continue reading Electoral Forecast (Hanretty, Lauderdale and Vivyan) (UPDATED)


A friend sent me a blog last Friday on the importance of find time for leisure, both for personal well-being but also for work productivity. Funnily enough, I worked until very late on Friday on a thesis chapter, so didn’t read it until the Saturday morning…

Working so late is actually a rarity for me. I have done it twice in the last year, and in both cases it was simply because I felt in a particularly productive mood, and had nothing too urgent the following day that would suffer from me being more groggy than normal.  Continue reading ‘Busyness’

The saddest acknowledgement I’ve ever read

Quite a few photos have cropped up in my Twitter feed of cats and dogs interrupting work-at-home academics. It reminded me of the saddest acknowledgement I’ve ever read in an introduction to a book.

‘Lastly, a list of tributes would not be complete without a mention of my dear cat, whose company was so much appreciated during the writing of the book. She sat approvingly on many of its pages in draft, but sadly died, aged 19, just before it went to press’.

Taken from Russell, Meg (2005). Building New Labour: The Politics of Party Organisation. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.