Tag Archives: jonathan isaby

More general election counts set to be held on Thursday following legal change

The Government has backed a move to amend election law to ensure that general election counts are started on the evening of polling day, exception in exceptional circumstances.

This exception will mean that counts for constituencies where there are severe logistical problems in getting ballot boxes in from polling stations, such as from Scottish islands, are likely to continue to commence on Fridays. However, for other constituencies counts will commence on Thursday evening.

The new clause in the Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill will require the counting of votes at a UK Parliamentary general elections to commence within four hours of the …

Posted in Election law and General Election | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Save general election night!

Yesterday’s Sunday Times reported how our traditional general election night is under threat from more and more councils wanting to move their count to a Friday.

Although there are some understandable reasons for this (principally the extra logistical burden of new checks against postal vote fraud), overall losing the drama of Thursday night through to the early hours of Friday morning would be a backwards step because:

Posted in General Election and News | Also tagged and | 15 Comments

Where I disagree with ConHome over the BNP’s Buckingham Palace Invitation

There will be – and should be – widespread disgust at the suggestion that BNP leader Nick Griffin is going to attend a Buckingham Palace garden party, hosted by HM the Queen. For the overwhelming majority of Britons who support racial and cultural diversity, it is offensive to see the British National Party attending a function hosted by the Head of State in honour of public service. It would be embarrassing for the Queen herself, who has been rightly keen to emphasise she is constitutional monarch for Britons of all faiths and races.

However, it would be mistaken to focus …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 18 Comments

Video: LDV, ConHome and LabourList debate online campaigning

Lib Dem Voice’s Mark Pack, ConservativeHome’s Jonathan Isaby and LabourList’s Derek Draper discussed online campaigning in a Hansard Society event held in Parliament yesterday.

The event was chaired by Dr Laura Miller from the Hansard Society eDemocracy programme.

From the Society’s website:

This event discussed the use of online strategies and their increasing importance, encouragement of grass-roots activism and ability to enable mass mobilisation. But there is no guarantee that the cooption of online strategies will guarantee electoral success or promote healthy dialogue between politicians and citizens.

You can watch the video here.

Posted in Online politics and Site news | Also tagged , , and | 2 Comments

PR in an online world: Boris Johnson’s team at work

There was an interesting little example last week of how the Conservatives are trying to use blogs to set the tone of news reporting, courtesy of Boris Johnson and a report into his behaviour.

The report, into Boris Johnson’s behaviour over the Damian Green affair, makes major criticisms of his behaviour but falls short of saying that he broke any rules. So the battle for good publicity came down to whether the report would be seen as ‘Boris cleared because he didn’t breach the rules’ or ‘Boris criticised for bad judgement and poor choices’. The Conservatives tried to make use of bloggers to pitch for the first, but in the end failed because the mainstream media coverage was far more balanced.

As Tory Troll points out, Boris Johnson got his retaliation in first with a statement welcoming the outcome of the inquiry, emphasising the part about him being cleared of any breach of the rules and glossing over the criticisms of his behaviour in the report, such as the conclusions that his acts:

  • Were “extraordinary and unwise” (paragraph 8.20)
  • Might “inhibit full and free discussion” of high profile cases “between the chief officer of police and a police authority chairman” (6.33)
  • “Placed him at risk of being called as a witness by either the CPS or defence in any criminal prosecution of Mr Green, to the potential detriment of his office as Chairman of the MPA” (8.21)
  • Risked being “perceived as furthering private interests” (8.21)

The Boris Johnson version of events was echoed across a range of friendly-blogs, all of whom ran similar stories: Iain Dale (“Boris is in the clear“), ConservativeHome (“Boris Johnson cleared of wrongdoing over Greengate“) and Conservative GLA member James Cleverly (“Boris in the clear“).

Iain’s piece quotes paragraph 11.1 of the report, but has no reference to the critical parts (his reasoning being, “I quoted that because it was the main conclusion of the report. Surely in these matters, that’s what counts. I don’t deny there were critical comments, and Boris addressed those in his own response”), Jonathan Isaby on ConservativeHome has a smiling picture of Boris Johnson giving a thumbs up, but no mention of the other aspects of the report, and James Cleverly’s piece is similarly glowing.

However, the efforts of Boris Johnson’s team seem to have been largely in vain, because the mainstream media coverage was far better, and in another warning to Boris Johnson about how he may find the Evening Standard a far more hostile paper now that its owner and editor have changed, the Evening Standard headlined its report:

Boris rebuked for his ‘unwise’ contact with Green during inquiry

Similarly, the BBC reported:

Boris Johnson’s role in the Damian Green affair was “extraordinary and unwise” but did not amount to an abuse of office, a new report has found.


This extract summarises the nuances of the report’s findings:

Posted in London and Online politics | Also tagged , , , , , and | 2 Comments

Helpful advice from the Tories about how to beat them at the next election

I was browsing ConservativeHome.com the other day (as one does), and came across an interesting piece from one of its two editors, Jonathan Isaby. He was warning Tory activists not to sound triumphalist about the prospect of winning a 100-seat majority at the next election, in case it turned off electors – particularly in Lib Dem-held target seats.

Mr Isaby states that, if they are to win a majority, the Tories must

try and win back most of the thirty-odd seats which the party has lost to the Liberal Democrats over the last decade or so.”

Warming to this …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 9 Comments

Recent Comments

  • User AvatarEthics gradient 28th Oct - 3:12am
    I think it is useful at to post up a map of how everybody voted. http://static1.uk.businessinsider.com/image/576cd2fd91058428008cb52f-1213/screen%20shot%202016-06-24%20at%207.21.45%20am.png Take a really good look at it and see...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 28th Oct - 12:58am
    Hi, folks. As a counsellor I'm well aware of self-fulfilling prophesies, and I think that the more people accept that Brexit WILL happen, the more...
  • User AvatarDavid Pearce 28th Oct - 12:10am
    Even if Brexit becomes inevitable because article 50 gets submitted and is irreversible (though legal challenges still pending on that), that is not the political...
  • User AvatarAndrew McCaig 27th Oct - 11:13pm
    Ethicsgradient Do you mean a "huge backlash" like us getting 42% and the rest getting 58%?? I would take that! But actually the polls and...
  • User AvatarAndrew McCaig 27th Oct - 11:01pm
    6. That Theresa May has made it very clear that the Tory change of heart on Heathrow is all because of Brexit, since apparently it...
  • User Avatarmadmacs 27th Oct - 10:55pm
    I am a Lib Dem member and voted Remain but for those who want a second referendum I think you are "whistling or worse in...