General Election Nowwcast — showing the Conservatives winning 351 seats, Labour winning 219, and the SNP 46.
General Election Nowwcast — showing the Conservatives winning 351 seats, Labour winning 219, and the SNP 46.

The YouGov poll released on Thursday after the Budget predictably set hares running about the direction Labour Party is taking under Keir Starmer. It was the first poll in months to show a net swing towards the Tories, with Labour dropping to 32%, and the Tories moving back up to 45% — a thirteen point lead.

The case for the defence is obvious: we are in the middle of a national emergency, and people do tend to get behind the government at times like this, particularly now that the vaccine programme is delivering and the end of Lockdown is in…

We’re almost there! Those who haven’t organised and sent in their postal votes this time will be weighing up whether to head to the polls tomorrow and, if so, who to vote for.

And in Scotland, those last minute decisions could make all the difference: while there’s never been any doubt as to who will be leading the next Government, the absolutely stonking majority that Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP seemed on track for a few months ago has receded. Instead, I’m forecasting that the SNP will indeed win a majority — of just one seat!

An SNP majority… but only just!

65 seats would, of…

It’s amazing how little has changed during the campaign: the SNP’s numbers in terms of seats haven’t moved significantly despite significant drops in their support on the Regional Vote, the Tories continue to go backwards, Anas Sarwar might be gaining personal popularity but that’s not translating into support for Labour, the Greens are continuing to make advances, and the LibDems… well, they exist.

I’m still projecting an SNP total of 67 seats, but the Greens look set for further advances: it’s now possible for them to emerge from the election with 11 seats, bringing the total of pro-independence MSPs to…

In the three weeks since we last looked at Scottish polling, Nicola Sturgeon was cleared of breaching the Ministerial Code only to be slammed by a partisan Parliamentary Inquiry, and survived a No Confidence Vote that even Labour and the Liberal Democrats decided appeared ridiculous. Alex Salmond launched his bid to return to Parliament with a pro-independence splinter party, which has at least managed to unite all the other splinter parties behind it, and the first setpiece Leaders Debate took place.

And it’s the SNP and Greens who are gaining the most from events: last month I was projecting that…

It was inevitable: Alex Salmond has returned to frontline politics in a new vehicle: the Alba Party. He claims its aim is to build a “supermajority” for independence, and to complement the SNP. But looking at the people backing him, what can we learn about the reaction to this? What are the likely electoral implications, really? And what’s likely to happen next?

The reaction — who’s cheering what?

I wonder if Alex Salmond noticed that the people celebrating this the most are the same people who, after political lifetimes of saying he couldn’t be trusted, started insisting that his every…

Ever since the SNP won the 2007 Scottish Election, the opposition parties have been sticking doggedly to the strategy of waiting for the party to mess up, then hoping they can capitalise.

So it’s no surprise that with the many internal rows that the SNP is dealing with, which seem to have coalesced into one big row, would be met with ill-concealed glee by the other parties, especially with the drama of Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon testifying against one another in the past two weeks.

And yet. People clearly have noticed what’s going on, but opinion is divided: if…

There’s a post I’ve been seeing a lot of people share on social media, expressing frustration over mainstream media coverage of public reaction to Tuesday night’s debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn. I wanted to take a look at it, and clear some things up:

The criticism is simple: the polls with loads of voters showed a massive Corbyn lead. The poll with the smallest sample was basically a statistical tie, but had Johnson in the lead, but look which poll the broadcasters are reporting on!

It’s frustrating of course — but it’s also overly simplistic, it’s a poor…

The problem

I live in Wigan, and my local MP is Lisa Nandy. Back in the 2016 referendum, Lisa and I stood shoulder-to-shoulder, campaigning for Remain. As we know, Leave won that vote, and won heavily in Wigan.

Now, perhaps, being the MP, Lisa found it necessary to start making compromises with the Leave campaign which, as an activist for an avowedly pro-Remain party, I haven’t felt the need to make. But still, it hurt when she voted to trigger Article 50. It hurt when she published article after article opposing calls for a People’s Vote, and it really hurt…

One key feature of Green politics is the willingness to look beyond boundaries and see the bigger picture — whether that’s national boundaries, local boundaries, or ideological and partisan boundaries. But at the same time, we passionately believe that it’s right to stand up for what we believe in. Sometimes, we have to make a choice between those two values, and after 2017 attempt at a Progressive Alliance, the pendulum in the Green Party has swung back towards standing up for our own identity. …

Will Patterson

Former political activist and candidate, and permanent elections nerd. In my spare time I worry about Wigan Athletic. (Pronouns: He/Him)

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