Tag Archives: paul goodman

Lewis Baston’s election 2015 forecast: Labour 36%, Conservatives 34%, Lib Dems 16%

Lewis Baston, a research associate at Democratic Audit who is perhaps the nearest the UK comes to a Nate Silver, has published a pamphlet called Swing Seats: The key battlegrounds of the 2015 election (not available online yet). It’s a forensic analysis of the constituencies that will decide the next election, and digs much deeper than the national polls on which so much political commentary relies.

I was on a panel – together with ConservativeHome’s Paul Goodman and the Fabian Society’s Marcus Roberts – to discuss its findings yesterday. Below are 10 points I jotted down from …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 21 Comments

The dance of coalition

Nick Clegg and David CameronSteve Richards, writing in the Independent, has a thoughtful analysis of the three main parties and their level of unity. He claims that the Liberal Democrats display “the greatest sense of unity and discipline” and yet they have the greatest level of internal differences. I like to think that is because we are a broad church that tolerates and even celebrates differences, because we do unite around the fundamental principles of fairness, liberty and equality.

But, according to Richards, those differences make it unlikely that the party will agree to another coalition with the Conservatives, hence his headline: “There will be no Con/Lib coalition after the next election”.

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Lib Dem MP Sir Robert Smith takes Yeo’s place as Energy and Climate Change Committee chair

sir Robert SmithSir Robert Smith, Lib Dem MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, has been named today as interim chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee following Tim Yeo’s decision to step down while allegations he used the role to help a private company influence Parliament are being investigated. Here’s the committee statement issued this morning:

The committee has unanimously accepted the chair’s recommendation that he absent himself from committee business for the duration of the investigation of the parliamentary commissioner for standards, following his self-referral at the weekend.

The committee

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“Prime Minister David Cameron’s Liberal Democrat deputy has quietly emerged as the more successful Whitehall operator”

So writes Paul Goodman in the Daily Telegraph:

That Clegg persuaded his party to cohabit with the Conservatives is a tribute not only to his powers of persistence and his colleagues’ appetite for office, but also to the Coalition Agreement itself. Its importance can be over-stated. The Government has done things that aren’t in it, such as housing benefit cuts. And it won’t do things that are in it, such as postal ballots for primaries. But its carefully crafted terms, approved by a Liberal Democrat team apparently surprised by the co-operation of the Conservative one, achieved many of the party’s objectives.

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Coalition: view from the Conservatives

During the week Paul Goodman wrote over on ConHome about how the coalition looks from the Conservative perspective. In particular, he wrote:

Downing Street mustn’t present the Liberal Democrats as the caring face of the Coalition…

As it happens, Conservative backbenchers aren’t sold on Lansley’s plan.  But although voters aren’t likely to remember the precise details when the slowdown’s formally announced, a vague impression will lodge – that the Liberal Democrats got the changes they wanted, even though only one of their party’s backbenchers opposed the bill at second reading.

The Party “can’t afford to sub-contract compassion to the Liberal Democrats”.  Simon Hughes

Posted in News | 2 Comments

Reactions to plans to give some prisoners the right to vote

Just before Christmas we covered the government’s plans to give the vote to prisoners serving sentences of less than four years, a delayed response to the adverse court ruling on the current rules from 2005 which the Labour government had not yet properly responded to.

Unsurprisingly, the plans have triggered opposition in some parts of the Conservative Party, including from Paul Goodman over on ConservativeHome: “The essence of the Clegg/Harper case is that the Government has no alternative. However, there at least four”.

Carl Gardner on his Head of Legal blog explains the legal background in more detail:

Obviously this

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