We need to talk about A/B testing: Brexit, attack ads and the election campaign

13 Nov

With the general election a month away, how are the parties targeting voters on Facebook with messages about Brexit? Tristan Hotham (University of Bath) explains how A/B testing is being used to identify the most effective campaign themes. Political parties using Facebook ads have a powerful capacity to hone their messages. Unlike in the past – where expensive and hard-to-organise […]

Labour has days to dump its unappealing Brexit policy before its manifesto is agreed

10 Nov

No matter how hard Labour tries to pretend otherwise, the forthcoming general election is a Brexit election. It is defined by Brexit in the same way as the 2017 general election was. At that time, Labour was able to get a hearing on its domestic policies because, at the very last minute, a sentence that […]

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I never thought I’d say it, but we Brexiteers have to trust a Tory to deliver Brexit – or risk no Brexit at all

10 Nov

It’s not easy changing political parties although Boris Johnson’s hero and mine, Winston Churchill, did it twice, moving from the Conservatives to the Liberals in 1904 and back again in 1925. I joined the Conservatives in October, following the Prime Minister’s successful negotiation of a deal with the EU and its endorsement by the likes […]

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Put country before party and back the Leave-backing candidate best-placed to win where you live

10 Nov

Another Brexit deadline passed us by at the end of last month, such was the inevitable result of a Remain-dominated Parliament. However, there is nothing inevitable about the future of our Parliament or the future of our country. Now opportunity is once again in the hands of the people of Britain as we prepare for […]

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How Tory voters switching to the Brexit Party could deliver another hung parliament

9 Nov

Over the last few days I’ve been giving a few talks explaining why we should treat the polls with caution. If you look only at the latest polls then the outcome of the election appears fairly certain. Ever since a majority of MPs voted to hold the election the incumbent Conservative Party has averaged 38%, […]

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In Peterborough at this General Election, only a vote for the Conservatives will deliver Brexit

6 Nov

A vote for the Brexit Party is a vote to let Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street. Nowhere do those words matter more at this General Election than in Peterborough, where I am standing as the Conservative candidate. There was of course a by-election in Peterborough earlier this year, which took place two weeks after the […]

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The Farage ultimatum to the Tories should make Brexiteers despair

2 Nov

Yesterday morning I waited with bated breath for the Brexit Party’s statement on its election strategy. In the previous 12 hours, Brexiteers had reason to be excited with speculation in the BBC and Daily Telegraph that Nigel Farage wanted to do a deal with Boris Johnson, with the suggestion that the Brexit Party would only […]

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The absurdity of Labour’s enthusiasm for the European project

28 Oct

I’ve never been able to understand my party’s ignorance of economics and production. We’re good at fostering consumption and excellent at the NHS, education, social services and welfare, but appalling at understanding the basic economics of building and sustaining an industrial base on which everything rests. Instead of growing the economy by state backing and […]

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As a Tory MP who helped found UKIP, here’s why I back Boris Johnson’s deal

23 Oct

On Tuesday I faced a decision that has been 28 years in the making, the longest and most strategic game of chess ever played. I helped found UKIP along with half a dozen others all those years ago with my journey to achieve Brexit shifting away from that party upon my return to the Conservatives […]

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The prospect of a hard Brexit is now in Corbyn’s hands

21 Oct

Faced with the prospect of a hard Brexit on Boris Johnson’s terms, Jeremy Corbyn could have threatened Labour MPs who intend to vote for it with deselection. Dimitri Zenghelis (LSE) says this may be the last – and most damaging – strategic decision the Labour leader makes. Let’s be clear about one thing. Boris Johnson is not worried about the Letwin amendment. He […]

Parliament must now do its duty and ensure Brexit is delivered, as instructed by the people

18 Oct

There is no doubt that had the Benn Act prohibiting a no-deal Brexit on October 31st not been passed, the EU would have agreed to a Brexit deal a while ago. The Benn Act ceded control of our departure to the EU in the same way as an employee who declares his intention to leave […]

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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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Why I – a Brexit Party MEP – trust Boris Johnson to do a deal and deliver Brexit by the end of this month

15 Oct

Shortly after the 2015 General Election, I received a note from Boris Johnson which read: “I don’t know what effect all that fish has had on your brain, but you seem to be the only person who correctly forecast the outcome.” My prediction had been published in my local newspaper and had included not only […]

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Can Boris Johnson get us out of the EU before a general election?

11 Oct

Never have we had such uncertainty surrounding our Government and Parliament, so much so that we literally have very little idea what is going to happen. Boris Johnson has said many times that we will leave the EU on 31st October whatever happens, with or without an Agreement. Yet how can he possibly pull it […]

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Welsh Labour are more out of touch with voters on Brexit than ever

27 Sep

Within the Cardiff Bay cartel, ‘BDS’ originally meant the ‘Brexit Derangement Syndrome’ of those who see in Brexit the twilight of Wales’ elites. Yet in these heady days ‘BDS’ stands for the ‘Boris Derangement Syndrome’ that has now sent Wales’ devolved governing class into orbit. The EU-signalling from Cardiff Bay shows that Johnson and his […]

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How can you protest for democracy, when your cause is to ignore democracy?

26 Sep

Whether outside Parliament, the Supreme Court, or with Emily Thornberry at the Labour Party Conference, how is it possible that people can protest against the referendum in the name of democracy? How too is it possible that within the Commons itself, upholding the constitutional decision to leave the EU could be branded hate? I suspect […]

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The Supreme Court decision may be momentous but does change anything over Brexit? Can a ” government of national unity” unite the country around a New Deal altogether?

24 Sep

Supreme Court President Lady Hale  The Supreme Court decision is a constitutional big deal, but has it changed  anything  in the Brexit timetable?  The Conservative party with most if not all of the dissidents included will not overthrow Boris Johnson and plunge themselves into another leadership crisis.  The DUP will endorse that.  If  Johnson wants to continue slash’n burn, he challenges  Corbyn to an immediate general election tomorrow.  This means he’s compelled to abandon withdrawal “ no if’s  not buts … Read more

Labour will never recover from its treachery of ignoring millions of Leave-backing former supporters

22 Sep

As the socialist tribes descend on Brighton once again, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party finds itself in the grip of a full blown civil war. The Momentum faction wants to depose deputy leader Tom Watson, and his Blairite kind, in good old Marxist-Leninist style: if you can’t take out your opponent democratically, then just abolish their […]

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Jeremy Corbyn’s ruse of Brexit neutrality is not how Harold Wilson played the 1975 referendum

22 Sep

As he navigates the Labour Conference this week, Jeremy Corbyn – who was elected party leader on the basis of never having taken a centrist position on anything – finds himself taking a centrist position on Brexit, on which there is no centrist position. Faced with losing voters in its Leave-voting industrial heartlands to the […]

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Basic flaw in Labour’s referendum plan makes it unworkable

22 Sep

We have arrived at one of those moments when something that’s agonising lots of clever people for  years has a basic flaw which people caught up in controversy have been more or less  blind to.  Corbyn’s fence sitting has been well and truly exposed as absurd.  Why should the EU offer Labour a Brexit deal if most of its members want to campaign against it?  But if they somehow succeed, how could the leadership stay neutral on the deal they’ve … Read more

Do Labour’s Rampant Remainers also have an agenda to thwart Jeremy Corbyn?

21 Sep

Do the Labour MPs who are making such efforts to stop Brexit and overrule the 2016 “People’s Vote” know what they’re doing? Has their Europeanism driven out their concern for Labour, creating a desperate desire to protect the few from the many by reversing the people’s will? Or is there a more sinister motive? To […]

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The impenetrable mysteries at the heart of Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit stance

10 Sep

As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit, “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he seems unable, under the pressure […]

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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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The recalcitrant Remainers propose a Brexit delay because they can’t agree on anything else

2 Sep

I can’t help admiring the way Recalcitrant Remainers – apart from lunatics and other Liberals – have managed to disguise their desire to stop Brexit. For two years of parliamentary tactics and fear creation, they’ve held Brexit up rather than killed it – but defenestrated poor old Theresa who attempted to accommodate them. Now, as […]

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Speaker Bercow’s increasing partiality on Brexit is a grave constitutional concern

1 Sep

A mere few months ago, only those with copies of Erskine May on their bookshelves would have likely known the meaning of prorogation. It burst onto the centre-stage of the public debate framed as a tool by which besuited desperados could force their maleficent policies on us by snatching power away from the legislature. A […]

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The forthcoming prorogation makes No Deal almost inevitable

29 Aug

Her Majesty the Queen’s approval of the Prime Minister’s request to prorogue Parliament has sent Remain-supporting Westminster into meltdown. Boris Johnson pitched the move as a way of preparing for a Queen’s Speech on 14th October following the prorogation, which is of course the formal mechanism that ends a parliamentary session. What makes the decision […]

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Welcome to constitutional wonderland

14 Aug

Stopping Brexit is becoming a desperate game. It’s produced a manic inventiveness which is turning out more constitutional crap than thirty years of Liberal Party conferences. Only the EU can impose “No Deal” by refusing to admit that Theresa May’s deal is as dead as May, so a new government means a new negotiation. Logically […]

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Labour MPs should be careful to avoid a Brexit general election at which the party would be trounced

25 Jul

“As democrats, Labour accepted the result of the 2016 referendum.” So wrote Jeremy Corbyn in a letter to Labour Party members following the recent meeting of the Shadow Cabinet which spent a considerable time discussing Labour’s developing policy on Brexit. Accepting the outcome of the referendum, is, of course, not the same as agreeing with […]

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