The 2019 British Election Battleground

10 Dec

Over the last couple of weeks I have posted a number of pieces looking at the battleground seats that will decide the election result across all nine English regions as well as Scotland and Wales. I’ve noted what percentage of voters in each battleground seat voted Leave at the 2016 referendum, as well as highlighting […]

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The 2019 Election Battleground: Wales

9 Dec

Overview There are 40 seats in Wales which, lest we forget, voted overall in favour of Leaving the EU at the 2016 referendum, despite the Welsh political establishment having rowed in en masse behind the Remain campaign. 11 seats were judged to have voted Remain while voters in 29 seats backed Brexit. Yet – like […]

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The 2019 Election Battleground: Scotland

8 Dec

Overview There are 59 seats in Scotland which, as SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon never tires of reminding us, voted Remain at the 2016 EU referendum. However, she is less likely to point out that more people actually voted Leave in Scotland (1,018,322) than voted SNP at the subsequent general election in 2017 (977,568). And another […]

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The 2019 Election Battleground: Yorkshire and the Humber

6 Dec

Overview Covers 54 seats across North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and the confusing amalgam of East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire formerly known as Humberside. Labour traditionally dominate the electoral landscape, especially in the former mining and industrial heartland of South Yorkshire and urban seats around Leeds, Bradford and Hull – although some of these […]

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The 2019 Election Battleground: West Midlands

5 Dec

Overview Covers the conurbation centred on Birmingham, Coventry and the Black Country, along with the counties of Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. This is the region that voted most heavily for Brexit in 2016, with only six of the 59 constituencies judged to have voted Remain – four Birmingham seats and two in leafier […]

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The 2019 Election Battleground: South West

4 Dec

Overview Covers 55 constituencies stretching from Cornwall in the far south west all the way up to Gloucestershire, taking in Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire and the patch of Greater Bristol formerly known as Avon. For most of the last few decades, this has been the site of battles between the Lib Dems and Tories, although […]

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The 2019 Election Battleground: South East

3 Dec

Overview Covers 84 constituencies across Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and the Isle of Wight. In parliamentary terms, this is the Conservative Party’s strongest region, although at the EU referendum it voted almost exactly in line with the national picture in terms of the Leave:Remain split. 37 seats voted Remain while 47 backed […]

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The 2019 Election Battleground: North West

2 Dec

Overview Covers 75 parliamentary seats in a region that stretches from the northernmost tip of Cumbria at the border with Scotland down to the south of Cheshire, taking in Lancashire and the urban population centres of Merseyside and Greater Manchester. While the cities of Liverpool and Manchester have for decades been Labour strongholds, this region […]

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The 2019 Election Battleground: North East

1 Dec

Overview Covers 29 parliamentary seats across urban Tyneside, Wearside and Teesside, along with the towns and rural hinterland of County Durham and Northumberland. Traditionally Labour’s strongest region in England, although it was also emphatically pro-Leave at the referendum in 2016 and Labour’s high command has increasingly struggled to connect with its traditional supporter base. But […]

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The 2019 Election Battleground: London

29 Nov

Overview Covers the 73 constituencies of Greater London, with the capital being the only English region to have backed Remain at the 2016 referendum. At the 2017 election, the Conservatives’ pro-Brexit stance was deemed to be the reason why they lost six seats here and several senior Brexiteer Tories are now defending uncomfortably small majorities. […]

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The 2019 Election Battleground: East Midlands

26 Nov

Overview Covers 46 seats across Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire where traditionally political battles are fought between the Tories and Labour with the Lib Dems not really getting a look in. The region registered the second highest Leave vote at the referendum and only four seats of the 46 are judged to have […]

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The 2019 Election Battleground: East of England

25 Nov

Overview Comprises 58 constituencies covering the historic East Anglian counties of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire along with Bedfordshire, Essex and Hertfordshire. Aside from Remainer pockets around Cambridge and its environs, Norwich North and the Hertfordshire commuter belt, this is pretty solid Brexit-backing territory. Leave voteshare at the 2016 referendum: 56.5% 2017 seat tally (compared with […]

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What the Brexit Party’s ‘contract with the people’ (not manifesto) says about Brexit

22 Nov

Today the Brexit Party has published a 24-page booklet it is calling its Contract with the People – they refuse to use the term ‘manifesto’ as they say it has become “a dirty word”. The document states: “Everybody knows that a manifesto is little more than a set of vague promises that its authors have […]

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What the 2019 Liberal Democrat manifesto says about Brexit

20 Nov

The giveaway clue is the title of the document issued today – Stop Brexit: Build a Brighter Future. The introduction to the manifesto then summarises the party’s position thus: “We are unashamedly fighting to stay in the European Union, and we are the strongest party of Remain. We believe that our best future as a […]

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MPs back Johnson’s Brexit deal at Second Reading, but defeat programme motion – how every MP voted

22 Oct

MPs have tonight given Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal a seal of approval by giving the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill a Second Reading by 329 votes to 299 – a majority of 30; but they then voted down the programme motion, setting timetable for debating the Bill over the coming days, by 322 votes to […]

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EXCLUSIVE: How Steve Baker exhorted the ERG to back the Johnson deal

20 Oct

One of the groups which Boris Johnson has been keenest to have row in behind his Brexit deal is the eurosceptic European Research Group (ERG) of Conservative backbenchers. 28 so-called ‘Spartans’ opposed the deal proposed by Theresa May three times. Several of that group of 28 now find themselves in the Government, including Cabinet Ministers […]

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MPs back Letwin amendment and prevent vote on Johnson’s deal – how every MP voted

19 Oct

As I feared might be the case this morning, MPs this afternoon voted for Sir Oliver Letwin’s amendment to the Government’s motion endorsing Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal so that MPs were unable to endorse the proposal in a Meaningful Vote, making the emergency “Super Saturday” sitting tantamount to farce. The Letwin amendment – passed by […]

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UK and EU agree new Brexit deal with revised Northern Ireland Protocol and Political Declaration

17 Oct

Despite repeated insistence from Brussels that the draft Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by Theresa May and Northern Irish backstop were sacrosanct and could not be re-opened, the European Union has this morning agreed to a new Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland (and consequential technical adaptations to Articles 184 and 185 of the Agreement) along with a new […]

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Queen’s Speech promises legislative programme to ‘seize the opportunities’ of Brexit

14 Oct

From the throne in the House of Lords chamber, Her Majesty The Queen has just announced the Government’s legislative programme for the new parliamentary session, however long it is to last. And whilst domestic priorities are covered by most of the 22 Bills announced, it was with Brexit that her speech (written of course by […]

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Labour’s Brexit policy – text of the motions backed by the party conference

24 Sep

The Labour Party conference yesterday agreed a policy on Brexit that would see a future Labour government negotiating a new deal with the EU, which would then be put to the country in a referendum against the option of Remain. However, the party will go into any forthcoming general election without a position as to […]

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MPs back Hilary Benn’s Bill to delay Brexit at Second Reading by a majority of 29 – How every MP voted

4 Sep

After just two hours’ debate, MPs have given a Second Reading by 329 to 300 (majority: 29) to Hilary Benn’s European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill which would delay Brexit until January in the absence of a deal or approval for No Deal as of 19th October. 329 MPs voted for the motion (331 if […]

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21 Tories rebel as MPs vote to seize Wednesday’s Commons agenda for Bill to delay Brexit – How every MP voted

3 Sep

MPs have voted by 328 votes to 301 (majority: 27) for a motion tabled by Oliver Letwin that seizes control of the Commons Order Paper on Wednesday 4th September to allow time to push through in four hours Hilary Benn’s Bill which would effectively delay Brexit further. The Bill states that unless a deal is […]

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Hilary Benn publishes his Bill to delay Brexit again as Government threatens an election if MPs back it

3 Sep

Today the House of Commons returns from its nearly six-week summer recess (where were the petitions, protests and howls of outrage about that?) and we can expect parliamentary fireworks later today as Remainer MPs embark on their latest attempt to prevent a no-deal Brexit. Yesterday afternoon Hilary Benn published the text of his European Union […]

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Darren Grimes’ total exoneration leaves the Electoral Commission with huge questions to answer

11 Aug

The Electoral Commission finally confirmed last Friday that it will not be appealing the judgment against it in July that cleared Brexit campaigner – and former BrexitCentral Deputy Editor – Darren Grimes of electoral offences. Despite his complete exoneration, Darren’s successful appeal against the findings of the Commission has been widely (and in some quarters […]

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