Tag Archives: 2015 general election

Conservative Party releases election expenses after court action

The BBC reports:

The Conservative Party has produced documents about its spending during the general election after the Electoral Commission took court action.

The watchdog applied to the High Court to force the party to disclose the documents as part of an investigation into an alleged spending rules breach.

Within hours, the commission said it had received the documents from the party and was reviewing them.

…In a statement, the Electoral Commission said: “Using its powers under the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act (PPERA) 2000, and in line with its enforcement policy, the Electoral Commission may issue a statutory notice requiring any

Posted in News | Also tagged | 3 Comments

Why the polls really got it wrong

The statisticians appointed by the British Polling Council have spoken.  The cause of the 2015 opinion poll disaster was – wait for it – statistical sampling error.  Pollsters chose the wrong mix of people.  Never mind that they had previously blamed bad statistics for their 1992 disaster, and thought they had then sorted out how to do the maths.

Meanwhile, professionals and pundits agreed that asking which party had the best leader was, consistently, a more reliable guide to who would win.  Thus, if they’d just relied on the finding that Cameron led Miliband in 2015, they’d have called it right.

Hang on, though!  If the problem was really a faulty, Labour-biased sample, then why should that sample be any less biased when asked “Who’s the best leader?”  If you have a biased sample, changing the question you ask them cannot possibly get rid of the bias!

Posted in Op-eds | 48 Comments

Tracking voters in 2010 and 2015

 

If anyone is still interested in mulling over the results of the General Election, this is some analysis that helps to answer two questions: which parties did 2010 voters choose in 2015? And the subtly different question: who had 2015 voters chosen in 2010? I am looking at the proportion of each party’s total vote in each case. (Thanks to David Howarth for pointing me towards the underlying data, following my previous column on this topic).

Posted in Op-eds | 5 Comments

Probe into “undue spiritual influence” in Birmingham election

 

An election petition has been launched into the May 2015 local elections in Birmingham. I want to be clear about a few things at the outset.

These proceedings are all about principles of public importance and the protection of democratic elections. It is about preventing future recurrence of kinship voting swaying bloc votes in favour of a political party. It is about the corrupt practice of providing fertile battleground for Pakistani political parties to flex their muscle during local British elections. It is about undue spiritual influence installing fear in the minds of the voter that if they don’t vote the party endorsed by the spiritual leader, punishment awaits them in the afterlife. It is about the illegal practice of segregation of men and women at political rally in contravention of the Equality Act 2010. These practices have no place in modern politics and for any political party to turn a blind eye to such practices amounts to selling values for votes.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 20 Comments

Did late postal votes cost Labour the seat of Derby North?

 

Amidst the slew of bad results for the Labour party on election night was the loss of Derby North by just 41 votes. Crunch the numbers and the incumbent, Chris Williamson, missed out on re-election by a margin of just 0.09 per cent of the vote – that’s just under one vote for every 1,000 cast. A bitter pill for him to swallow, I’m sure, but could it have been different?

I lodged a Freedom of Information Act request with Derby City Council asking how many postal votes they had received after 10pm on polling day. After that time, of course, votes can no longer be accepted and don’t count. We can’t know how many people turned back en route to the polling station once they realised it had gone 10 o’clock and they were too late to play their part, but we can find out how many unwittingly sent their vote back too late.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 19 Comments

Opinion: Here’s to our fallen comrades

Nearly two weeks have passed since the general election and while much has been analysed in reaction to that fateful day, as the party looks to turn a corner, it is also worth looking back and mentioning all of those good Liberal Democrats now out of office.

The election of 2015 will leave its mark in history for being the election of political scalps. Countless big names lost their jobs while the press looked on in disbelief as three leaders resigned all within a couple of hours of one another (and one even reinstated himself!). However we must also reflect on the loss of a large number of Liberal Democrats and their backroom teams whom the country will sourly miss. From Charles Kennedy in the North of Scotland to David Laws in the South West, Britain has lost many a servant to liberalism and the remaining eight MPs must shout louder than ever to have their voice heard.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 5 Comments

Lib Dem/Tory waverers wanted continuity, but they voted Conservative to achieve it

It was always going to be true that the 30 or so seats where the fight was between the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives would end up delivering one of the most important stories of election night 2015. Liberal Democrats hoped, of course, that this would be for the reason that they were the hallmark of the party’s resilience. But they were newsworthy in the end because they were symbols of the Lib Dem defeat, and the vehicles of delivery of a Conservative victory.

That the tens of thousands of voters in those seats who wavered between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives were the most important of this campaign had been known to both governing parties, of course, for months if not years. They were ruthlessly targeted from every angle: leaflets, phone-calls and visit after visit by senior politicians.

And in the end they made their decision, and they made it in David Cameron’s favour. The prime minister’s message, that only a Conservative vote could guarantee continuity and avoid the risk of a Miliband-Sturgeon government, ultimately prevailed.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 230 Comments
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