PMQs – Second jobs

  PMQs has never been a forum for cross-party agreement; it is a battleground for sound-bites and point-scoring. If reforming the rules for MPs holding second jobs was a priority, an agreement would be reached behind the scenes and changes would be quietly introduced. However, this has been a high-profile scandal and presented an opportunity …

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The Weaponisation of Tax

  To use current political jargon, tax is the latest issue to be “weaponised” by the political parties, as the leak of a large tranche of secret HSBC bank accounts in Switzerland put tax avoidance and evasion at the heart of the political and media agenda. This should come as no surprise. Tax avoidance has …

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UKIP: The truly national party?

  Nigel Farage kicked off UKIP’s general election campaign with his first major speech of the year. High on rhetoric, low in substance, the content was still nonetheless revealing. Farage told the crowd gathered in Essex that UKIP was the only “truly national political party”. At quick glance such a statement is easy to dismiss …

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How much do polls shift in the last 90 days?

  Just under 90 days to go.  Do the polls give us any pointers from the past? There is an interesting exercise we can do.  Take the last 10 general elections, and take the polling averages for all the parties with just under 90 days to go to the final vote. In other words, take …

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Mr Gladstone’s ghost

  A minority left-of-centre government sustained by – but not in formal coalition with – a regional party? It’s not just a post May-2015 scenario.  We’ve been here before. History may have some interesting lessons for those who may find themselves round a negotiating table on May 8th. To start with, we have to go …

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