Matthew Goodwin

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A postal worker wearing a PPE mask delivers mail in a deserted Leeds city centre during the nationwide lockdown to curb COVID-19. Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images.

Those who believe in cyclical theories of history argue the infamous stock market crash of 1929 signalled the failure of markets and paved the way for a bigger state, which then led to the New Deal in America and welfare states in Europe.

Fast forward to the 1970s and it was the turn of the state to overreach as big government proved unable to resolve intractable economic and social problems. This paved the way for the return of the markets via Reaganism and Thatcherism and an economic consensus that even centre-left social democrats ended up accepting.

Now fast forward again to where we are today.…  Seguir leyendo »

Conservatives won big in the U.K. election — for these two reasons

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his governing Conservative Party won a convincing victory in last week’s U.K. general election. The Conservatives captured 365 seats, sufficient for a solid majority in Parliament and fully 48 more than the 317 seats they won in the 2017 general election. Their main rival, Labour, fared poorly. Recording its worst performance in decades, Labour was reduced to 203 seats, down from 262 in 2017. What accounts for the election outcome?

Two major arguments have been offered why the Conservatives did so well and Labour, so poorly. The first is that the election was “all about Brexit.”…  Seguir leyendo »

At long last, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has managed to schedule a general election for Dec. 12. The result will decide not only the fate of Johnson and his governing Conservative Party but also whether the new Parliament will pass his Brexit deal.

What are the Conservatives' chances of gaining the number of seats they need to form a majority government? We see four possible scenarios.

1. Current polling results give the Conservatives a comfortable majority.

Right now, polls put the Conservatives on track to win a comfortable majority of 357 seats; 326 are needed for a majority. If these numbers hold, their principal rival, the Labour Party, will capture only 198 seats, a large falloff from the 262 the party won in 2017.…  Seguir leyendo »

Why Britain’s 2019 Election Is Its Most Unpredictable in Recent History

On 12 December, Britain will hold the most consequential election in its postwar history. The outcome of the election will influence not only the fate of Brexit but also the likelihood of a second referendum on EU membership, a second independence referendum in Scotland, the most economically radical Labour Party for a generation, Britain’s foreign and security policy and, ultimately, its position in the wider international order.

If you look only at the latest polls, then the outcome looks fairly certain. Ever since a majority of MPs voted to hold the election, the incumbent Conservative Party has averaged 38%, the opposition Labour Party 27%, the Liberal Democrats 16%, Brexit Party 10%, Greens 4% and Scottish National Party 3%.…  Seguir leyendo »

Outcome of 2019 U.K. election with Labour-Liberal Democrat tactical voting, and 50 percent of Brexit Party supporters moving to the Conservatives. Prepared by authors using analyses of polling data and 2017 general election results.

The “Battle of Brexit” has left British politics in chaos. After Boris Johnson became leader of the governing Conservative Party on July 23, he promised to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union by Oct. 31, “do or die.” To achieve this, he prorogued (suspended) Parliament and wants to hold a general election.

Opposition politicians, assisted by Conservative rebel MPs and Speaker John Bercow, have thwarted Johnson’s efforts, promising to not let the United Kingdom leave the E.U. without a deal. They maintain they will allow an election only after the Oct. 31 deadline has passed. Some time in November seems likely.…  Seguir leyendo »

People with Union Flag backpacks in Whitehall on 19 December. Photo: Getty Images.

There is no doubt that during the 30 months since the 2016 referendum the British people have become slightly more pessimistic about the perceived effects of Brexit, and how they feel that leaving the EU is being managed. Overall, people have become marginally more likely to think that their finances will worsen if Britain leaves the EU, that the economy will suffer and that Brexit will negatively impact upon jobs. They have also become more likely to think that the Conservative government is managing Brexit ‘badly’.

Such shifts have fuelled the idea that the people are ‘giving up’ on Brexit and that the wider winds are now blowing firmly behind a resurgence of support for remaining in the EU.…  Seguir leyendo »

Why a far-right party with white supremacist roots is on the rise — in Sweden-3

On Sunday, voters went to the polls in Sweden. The result confirmed what the polls had forecast: a record high for the national populist Sweden Democrats, a party rooted in white supremacism that wants to reduce the number of immigrants and refugees and hold a referendum on membership in the European Union. As the last votes are being counted, the party has surpassed 17 percent, its highest vote share on record.

This was accompanied by sharp losses for the two big mainstream parties as Sweden’s party system fragments. Since the 1970s, the center-left Social Democrats and the center-right Moderates have regularly won more than 60 percent of the vote.…  Seguir leyendo »