Tag Archives: michael thrasher

Opinion: 20 years of going nowhere, Liberal Democrat gender balance in council elections

Twenty years of progress, followed by twenty years of stalling. That’s the overall picture of Liberal Democrat (and before that Alliance / Liberal Party) progress towards gender equality at local government elections, whether measured in terms of candidates or people elected.

Looking at local elections in England, a mere 20% of the Liberal Party’s candidates were female in 1973 and the figure was even lower, 18%, amongst those elected. By 1991 both figures had risen to 34%. Since then, however, the figures have bounced up and down around a long-term flat trend, with both hitting 30% in the latest figures for …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 18 Comments

What will happen to the Lib Dems in Thursday’s local elections?

Lib Dems winning hereThere are just three campaigning days left until this Thursday’s local elections taking place across much of England.*

It’ll be tough-going for the Lib Dems…

The last time these seats were fought, in 2009, was a high water-mark for the party: we polled a national equivalent vote-share of 25%. As I said in my morning-after-the-night-before round-up here, they “were, generally, pretty damn good for the Lib Dems”.

Since entering government, the party’s become used to taking a battering in local elections. As the national polls indicate, our vote share has roughly halved since the Coalition was formed. Because we poll higher in local than national elections, this means we’re likely to secure around 15-16% of the popular vote on Thursday. If that’s the case, our number of councillors will again decline.

Posted in Local government and News | Also tagged , , , and | 26 Comments

Were you a 2012 election candidate? Then don’t forget to fill in The Election Centre’s questionnaire

If, like me, you were one of the 12,000 people who was a candidate in 2012’s local elections you may have received a letter recently from Plymouth University’s Elections Centre, run by Professors Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher, inviting you to take part in an online questionnaire:

This year the centre has ran its seventh annual candidate survey for the Local elections. Over 12,000 candidates stood for election to local government this year and we are lucky enough to have sampled 6,450 of them (i.e. sent a letter inviting them to participate in the survey). We do this to collate information

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

The 2010 general election: it’s a game of three halves

Political coverage and blogging in the UK has a rather odd love-hate relationship with electoral numbers. On the one hand, the latest opinion poll figures get reported, re-reported and mis-reported at length, with the mere fact that a change in ratings is well within the margin of error not being reason enough to stop a cavalcade of comment.

Yet despite this love of talking electoral numbers, those that are talked about come from a fairly narrow range of sources.

So here instead are three other numbers – all simple in concept, but interesting in implication.

First, since 1970 49% of Parliamentary

Posted in General Election and Op-eds | Also tagged | 8 Comments

Lib Dems and Labour neck-and-neck on 28%, says voting study

Today’s Times publishes a study by Professor Colin Rallings and Professor Michael Thrasher of Plymouth University based on actual votes cast in the dozens of by-elections that take place for council seats each month. Here are the headline findings:

It shows that although David Cameron’s Conservatives have a 10-point lead over Labour as the year draws to a close, the gap has been narrowing since the summer. The by-election model, which has been reworked to take account of different patterns of competition between the parties, has the Tories on 38%, with both Labour and the Liberal Democrats on 28%.

The calculations

Posted in Polls | Also tagged , and | 13 Comments

Book review: British Electoral Facts

For decades, FWS Craig was the doyen of British electoral statistics. His reference works were widely used and often contained facts and figures that he had created from original sources. Yet today he is almost completely unknown.

The reason? He died just before the internet took off. His hard work was locked away in reference volumes either sat on the shelves in libraries beyond the reach of an internet connection or available to purchase – at eye-wateringly expensive prices.

Posted in Books | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

What do the academics say? Ballot paper ordering

Welcome to a new occasional series covering what academics have to say about politics, elections and public opinion. As with most things in life, academic research comes in various flavours, including the good, the bad and the stating the bleeding obvious (though investigating ‘what everyone knows’ does have a role, as just sometimes it isn’t true after all).

Today’s selection is about the order in which names appear on ballot papers can affect election results.

Posted in Election law and What do the academics say? | Also tagged | 7 Comments

Labour-Tory two-party politics is now the minority

Bad news for Labour and Conservative activists who don’t like those pesky liberals. Sorry folks.

I’ve been taking a look at the recently published Thrasher and Rallings projected results for the new Westminster Parliamentary boundaries.

Take all the seats where Labour and first and the Conservatives are second, or vice-versa, strip out the three-way marginals and … voila … you only have a minority of the seats in Parliament. Or to put it the other way round – the majority of Westminster constituencies are now not straight-forward Labour/Conservative contests.

Anyone fancy a bet on how long it will take the media to notice?

Posted in News | Also tagged | 5 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJohn 21st Sep - 8:18pm
    A good tone of speaking from Jo. Authority without talking down.
  • User AvatarMartin 21st Sep - 7:56pm
    Lie down, shut your eyes for a moment and imagine an election in which Liberal Democrats vow to revoke Article 50 and win an overall...
  • User AvatarRoland 21st Sep - 7:51pm
    Many thanks for bring this to our attention - I know a potential applicant...
  • User AvatarPeter Hirst 21st Sep - 6:55pm
    How many seats is the Party targeting? I've read above 100 as possible somewhere. We need to get 150 to make it a real change...
  • User AvatarGeoffrey Dron 21st Sep - 6:04pm
    Jo very good - definitely best PM-material of the three party leaders - but she ought to have been subject to more rigorous cross-examination by...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 21st Sep - 5:49pm
    http://liberalbureaucracy.blogspot.com/2019/09/alde-party-congress-athens-2019_21.html Liberal Democrats should support our policy of a voting age of 16 at every opportunity. 1) David Cameron (Con) allowed it for the 2014...
Thu 10th Oct 2019