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 AvatarMick Taylor 26th Nov - 12:03pm
    Dear oh me Peter. Do you really believe that the EU having been subject to a torrent of abuse in the referendum will want to...
  • User AvatarMick Taylor 26th Nov - 11:48am
    @raddiy. So we Liberal Democrats are not entitled to a view? Not entitled to tell the UK electorate the pros (and vital necessary changes to...
  • User AvatarDave Orbison 26th Nov - 11:47am
    Expats and David Raw - spot on. Osborne has a tried and tested MO. 1. Leak doom and gloom then row back and be introduced...
  • User AvatarPeter 26th Nov - 11:45am
    The truth of your argument is that the EU is far from wonderful and the other states are worried. The EU is currently in rapid...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 26th Nov - 11:36am
    "Paul Reynolds works with multilateral organisations". It would be helpful if we had full information on what and who these "multilateral organisations" are.
  • User AvatarPeter 26th Nov - 11:35am
    You can't have your argument both ways. If the EU is so wonderful, why is there paranoia about a rush for the exit by other...