Tag Archives: general election 2015

Election expenses: Nine of the Tory MPs being investigated named

Channel 4 News have now named nine of the Tory MPs being investigated by the police in connection with allegations of expenses irregularities:

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Devon & Cornwall police call in another force to investigate Tory election expense allegations

The BBC reports:

A newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is facing calls to “stand aside” while she is investigated by police.

Officers are examining Alison Hernandez’s role in submitting expenses for Tory MP Kevin Foster in 2015.

Conservative, Ms Hernandez, was elected as Devon and Cornwall’s PCC on Friday.

Her political opponents say there is a “conflict of interest”, but Ms Hernandez says she will have no contact with officers investigating expenses.

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Report into the 2015 General Election

General Election Review coverIn the aftermath of the May 2015 election, the FE tasked the Campaigns and Communications Committee with conducting a review. Today we are publishing our report and you can read it here.

Made up of myself, Sal Brinton, Candy Piercy, Martin Tod, Neil Fawcett, Tim Razzall, Jo Foster, and David Green, the review group received feedback from over 7500 party members.

In addition we conducted interviews with a wide range of people from MPs and former MPs to senior staff, PPCs, field organisers, agents and members of the House of Lords.

The size of the response was overwhelming, and despite the difficult subject matter, we witnessed a huge amount of optimism, hope, and belief in the capacity of the Party to sustain and rebuild itself in the months and years to come.

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What do you do when you see a disastrous exit poll? Eat your hat, of course

Paddy Ashdown has been talking to the Guardian about that moment when he first saw the exit poll on Election Night.

rally paddy 01

To be honest I saw the poll at the bottom of the screen about 10 seconds before Andrew Neil turned to me and I thought to myself ‘oh shit’,” he said.

“Then I had an option. I could either say ‘that’s very interesting and wouldn’t it be troublesome for us’, in which case the entire Liberal Democrat night would fall apart from thereon … or I could brave it out and say ‘I’ll eat my hat’.

“I have in fact eaten five hats altogether , including one that was a proper hat, although pretty miniature, the rest made of more edible substances, which people keep presenting me with.

He discussed the impact of the polls and suggested that they had a big impact on the result of the election.

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Jo Swinson: Tories preferred SNP MPs to Liberal Democrats

The most successful parties in the UK at the moment are the Conservatives and the SNP, parties which are supposedly totally opposed in terms of values but who seem to be fuelling each others’ gains.

We know that Alex Salmond helped give oxygen to the Tories’ increasingly incredible and hyperbolic claims during the general election by hinting at demands he’d make of Ed Miliband. We know that the Tories spent a small fortune in seats they couldn’t win in Scotland in a strategy that could only have had the effect of ensuring that the SNP won.

There is a school of thought in this party that puts our atrocious result down to the Tory’s scaremongering about the SNP and Labour in coalition. Others say that this is a smokescreen and that actually our poor messaging was at fault. Actually, I think both were pretty strong factors and I think that we legitimised what the Tories were doing by running scared of it rather than calling it out for the nonsense it was.

The Herald reports Jo Swinson’s comments about the impact of the Tory campaign in her seat and others:

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The article you must read on the General Election…or is it?

I was tagged on Facebook today and told that I really should share this article from on the Liberal Democrats’ General Election campaign on this site. It was talked up by a fair few people whose judgement I respect but I have to say that when I read it, I was underwhelmed. There was much that I agreed with – the total inadequacy of our general election messaging for a start, but most of it seemed to me to be a mixture of stating the bleedin’ obvious, lazy assumptions and, to be honest, not much that we didn’t know already.

There were, of course some parts that made my blood boil. It bought heavily into the idea that we were a party of protest, for a start. For me, that is a ridiculous notion. We have always been about getting into government wherever we can, in councils, at national level and at UK level. We spent 8 years keeping Labour honest at Holyrood.

That successful coalition is mentioned in the article almost accusingly, as something we should have achieved at Westminster without any analysis of why such a comparison is a false one. For a start, the Holyrood coalition governed at a time of prosperity. There was stacks of cash around and we were able to do radical things with it. Taking over the economic reins during the worst economic crisis in 80 years is an entirely different challenge. Secondly, the electorate in Scotland largely gets the Parliament it asks for. At Westminster this is not the case. If we had a proportionate number of seats, we’d have had 140 MPs, not 57 and a much bigger voice in government. 

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Opinion: General election 2015 – The rise of UKIP and the Tory decapitation strategy

Looking across the change in vote share at the General Election (analysing data from here) reveals that the Liberal Democrat vote was down 15.3 percentage points (pps) on average, but down slightly more in constituencies where the Lib Dems won in 2010 (15.7 pps). Excluding Scotland from these latter figures shows the Libs Dems were down by 16.8 percentage points.

The biggest winner was UKIP, both in England and Wales (up 10.9 pps) and in former Lib Dem constituencies (up 7.6 pps). The Liberal Democrats need to understand why so many previous voters switched to UKIP.

The Conservatives were up 1.1 pps overall, but actually down 0.5 pps in Lib Dem seats. However, in England and Wales this turns into a gain, albeit just 0.7 pps and again lower than their overall improvement. The Conservatives gained most ground against the Lib Dems in the South West, up 3.8 pps overall, and up 4.3 pps in seats the Lib Dems had previously won.

Posted in Op-eds | 30 Comments
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