The Lib Dem retreat to seat-by-seat campaigns. The right tactic, but not a long-term strategy

by Stephen Tall on July 31, 2014

The Guardian’s Rafael Behr has written of his experiences in Eastbourne, a seat won from the Tories by the Lib Dems’ Stephen Lloyd in 2010. His majority, 3,435, would need a swing of just 3.9% to be wiped out. The recent Lord Ashcroft poll of Tory / Lib Dem marginals indicated an average swing away […]

Austerity and honesty. Will any of the parties level with the voters about what the post-2015 cuts will look like?

by Stephen Tall on July 30, 2014

Here’s my latest The Other Side column for ConservativeHome, published here on Tuesday. There were two points I wanted to make. First, that austerity is real, as there is a strain of right-wing commentators who argue it’s a chimera. And (…)

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Lib Dems publish latest accounts: £439k surplus and membership up to 43,451

by Stephen Tall on July 29, 2014

The latest set of accounts for the Lib Dems have been published – I’ve uploaded it at the foot of this post. (You can compare it with last year’s here.) Here are 5 points that struck me I read through the document. 1) Party bounces back from deficit to surplus Last year, the Lib Dems […]

My recommended reading for today July 27, 2014

by Stephen Tall on July 27, 2014

Here’s some of the articles that have caught my attention in the past couple of days… Dog faints from 'overwhelming joy' upon reuniting with owner after two years – Weird News – News – The Independent Good news story of (…)

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The 21 areas where the Lib Dems and Labour agree

by Stephen Tall on July 27, 2014

It’s a few months since I first published my list of 17 policies on which the Lib Dems and Labour now agree. These ranged from including tax-cuts for low-earners, the introduction of a mansion tax, a major council house-building programme, cuts to universal benefits for wealthy pensioners, and an elected House of Lords. One I […]

Ed Miliband’s speech: tricky message, poor timing

by Stephen Tall on July 26, 2014

I’ve quite a lot of time for Ed Miliband. Politics needs intelligent, thoughtful folk with their hearts in the right place. I respect, for example, that he held out last year against the superficially attractive urge to call for an in/out EU referendum advocated by more opportunistic Labour colleagues who relished the idea of stirring […]

Highest ever rate of applications to university from poorer students new UCAS figures show

by Stephen Tall on July 25, 2014

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) has just published the latest figures of students applying to university this year according to free school meal status. What they show is that a higher proportion of pupils from low-income backgrounds are (…)

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My recommended reading for today July 25, 2014

by Stephen Tall on July 25, 2014

Here’s some of the articles that have caught my attention in the past couple of days… Now that Ed Miliband has accepted reality, Labour might be ready for the 2020 election – Telegraph Blogs Interesting from Dan Hodges on the (…)

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Ukip may well win a seat in May 2015. But the least likely person to get elected is Nigel Farage

by Stephen Tall on July 24, 2014

This week saw the latest in Lord Ashcroft’s polls of the marginal battleground seats that will decide the result of the next general election. This crop focused on 14 marginal Conservative-held seats where Labour are in second place. The overall news was half-encouraging for Labour. As it stands, Ed Miliband’s party is poised to win […]

Good news: Voters places themselves and the Lib Dems in the centre. Bad news: that doesn’t mean they’re liberals

by Stephen Tall on July 24, 2014

“There’s no future for the Lib Dems as a party of the centre,” goes the cry from radicals on both wings of our party. So I was interested to see this polling data from YouGov (hat-tip Adam Corlett) looking at where voters place themselves on the left-right axis and where they place the parties and […]