Blogs and Comment

Here is a collected archive of Electoral Calculus blogs and comment articles. These include the "Liberal Leaver" Blog, and Martin Baxter's weekly Campaign Calculus column in the Daily Telegraph online during the 2015 and 2017 General Election Campaigns.

Liberal Leaver

Jeremy Corbyn and Boris JohnsonBoris Johnson wants to skewer Labour on a dilemma to get a Deal approved

The suspension of parliament is not designed to achieve a No Deal outcome but to close off the chance of further delay and to give Labour the unpalatable choice between an amended Deal and the No Deal option.
Posted: 29 Aug 2019

UK Polling Station signBrexit Process needs more Democracy not less

Big decisions are more legitimate and better accepted when taken openly and democratically. The Brexit process has been marred by decisions taken in private by small groups.

This article reviews the unfortunate history and suggests a democratic way forward.
Posted: 10 Jun 2019

Preferred outcome if deal not agreed by 12 April, YouGov poll How many of the public want a 'No Deal' outcome?

Brexiteers have recently become excited by polling which they think shows a majority of the public supporting 'No Deal'. What's the truth behind the chatter?
Posted: 9 Apr 2019

EU's Four-card trick for a second referendum The EU's four-card trick to get another referendum

The EU is steering the UK to a long extension to Brexit with a second referendum as a potential end point.
Posted: 22 Mar 2019

Brexit outcome chances from the betting markets Odds narrow on Second Referendum

Punters on political betting markets marked up the chance of a second referendum following Labour's announcement of potential support on 25 February.
Posted: 26 Feb 2019

Brexit outcome chances from the betting markets Agreed Deal 'more likely' say punters

Following the votes in the House of Commons on 29 January, betting markets have reacted to increase the estimated chance of a withdrawal deal being agreed.
Posted: 30 Jan 2019

Poll on Deal/No Deal May can win with a Remain-less referendum

May can get her deal approved if she gives the public a choice between Deal and No Deal.

The public would also be asked to choose the shape of Brexit, so that Labour and europhile voices are included.
Posted: 22 Jan 2019

Brexit outcome chances from the betting markets Bettings markets think Brexit delay likely

See punters' estimates of various Brexit possibilities from the betting markets.
Posted: 14 Jan 2019

It's hard to get a better deal

The public, as well as many MPs, would like a renegotiation of the EU withdrawal agreement. But the EU has no interest in changing the proposed deal.

It would take a bold and risky move by Britain to change the terms of debate and force the EU to reconsider. Here is how it could work.
Posted: 5 Dec 2018

Public Likes May but not Her Deal

Recent polling shows the public want May to stay as PM and avoid another election. But they don't like her proposed Brexit deal, and more people would rather leave without it.
Posted: 22 Nov 2018

Brexit Spectrum What people really want from Brexit

There are many possible types of Brexit, but what sort of Brexit do the public really want to happen? Recent polls give an insight, and you can have your own say in a simple online poll.
Posted: 31 Aug 2018

Sheep in Patagonia, Argentina Brexit Trade Deal and Public Opinion

The public put a high priority on post-Brexit trade arrangements. But what are the realistic possibilities and how do they affect consumers and exporters?
Posted: 4 Dec 2017

Brexit Poll Question on EU Immigration vs Free Trade, ORB 3-5 Nov 2017 Brexit Choices and Public Opinion

John Joseph Boylan looks at the progress of the Brexit negotiations to see which outcome would be the best for Britain. Recent polls of public opinion highlight the difficulty of getting both an agreed British position and the right deal.
Posted: 13 Nov 2017

NOx Real-world emissions by car type Diesel Engines : London T-charge ignores the evidence

The new London T-Charge takes car manufacturers' test results at face value. Independent evidence suggests that is a mistake.
Posted: 23 Oct 2017

Prosecco bottles on ice A Quick and Simple Solution to Trade Negotiation

Mercantilism is a fallacy from the past, and Britain should think about unilateral trade liberalization as a serious option for a free-trading future.
Photo: James Cridland CC, Posted: 9 Jan 2017

How much did that call cost? Top Ten Consumer Rip-offs which Government can Fix

Post-Brexit, any British government can make things better for consumers who are ripped off by greedy businesses and unnecessary regulatory costs. Here are ten rip-offs which can be fixed.
Photo: Antonio Guillem ©, Posted: 9 Oct 2016

Comparative Advantage Graphic The most important Brexit negotiator is a spiv MP from two hundred years ago

David Ricardo was a dodgy MP in the 1820s, but he had one big great idea which is still important today. It will affect almost all aspects of Brexit negotiations with the EU and other countries around the world.
Posted: 25 Sep 2016

Bank holiday weekend traffic jam on the A31(T) The Diesel Engine Pollution Scandal

Diesel engines have been promoted by the EU and British governments because of modest reductions CO2 but at the expense of massive increases in toxic NO2. Read about the on-going scandal which kills thousands every year.
Photo: Jim Champion CC, Posted: 10 Sep 2016

The typical Georgian architecture of Bath, Somerset, as viewed looking north-west from Bathwick Hill House Prices are Too High

House prices are too high for many people, and home ownership is falling. And it's the government's fault. But it can be fixed.
Photo: David Iliff, CC-BY-SA 3, Posted: 4 Sep 2016

Sean Connery in Amsterdam, filming Diamonds are Forever Copyright reform from two perspectives

Leaving the EU lets us liberalise our copyright laws. They are too strict and have been captured by the media companies to rip off consumers.
Photo; Netherlands National Archive, Posted: 28 Aug 2016

Sunset over European wheat field Millions suffer from food insecurity because EU rules keep food prices high. We can now change that.

One of the worst things of the EU is the Common Agricultural Policy, which is harmful for poorer people in Britain and abroad. Reform will make food cheaper for everyone.
Photo: Dreamy Pixel, Posted: 21 Aug 2016

House of Lords The House of Lords is an Affront to Democracy

The House of Lords is an ugly blot on British democracy. It should be elected.
Photo: ©Parliamentary copyright, Posted: 8 Aug 2016

EEA Traffic Light graphic A majority of voters favours retaining single market membership

John Joseph Boylan sets out the case for EEA membership to retain full access to the single market but also to keep many of the advantages of Brexit.
Image: Roland Smith, Adam Smith Institute, Posted: 30 Jul 2016

A Cypriot container ship at Felixstowe container port Eight hundred years of trade

British free trade doesn't just go back to the anti-corn law protests. It goes all the way back to the Magna Carta.
Photo: Geof Sheppard, Posted: 19 Jul 2016

Boris Johnson, Vote Leave Rally 19 June 2016 It's the Democracy, Stupid

Polls show that Leave voters were more concerned with regaining sovereignty than clamping down on immigration. That opens a new debate on what sort of Brexit we should have.
Posted: 27 Jun 2016

General Election 2017 Campaign Calculus

Top Ten Predictions for the Election

The final pre-election Campaign Calculus gives ten predictions.
Posted: 6 Jun 2017

Pre-election support for Leader as PM 1979-2017 More people want Jeremy Corbyn to be PM than Ed Miliband

Although he is one of Labour's most left-wing leaders, Corbyn is more popular than some others. But he lags behind May in the "best PM" question.
Posted: 29 May 2017

Party Support in Scotland 1983-2017 Scotland has passed peak SNP

The SNP will lose some seats at the election, but they are still dominant in Scotland.
Posted: 22 May 2017

British Elections 1900-2015 UKIP clears path for Conservatives

Both UKIP and the Green party are standing aside in hundreds of seats. But it benefits the Conservatives more than Labour.
Posted: 16 May 2017

British Elections 1900-2015 How the Left can arise

The leftish parties are looking in a bad way. But a new party could rise from the ashes of the Labour party — and become the main opposition.
Posted: 9 May 2017

Poll Error at Elections 1992-2016 Can we trust the polls?

This Campaign Calculus looks at why the polls went wrong in 2015, and whether the pollsters have fixed all the problems.
Posted: 1 May 2017

Election Battleground 2017 Battleground 2017

If the current polls are to be believed, then current public opinion is situated squarely in the heart of Conservative territory, and the Conservatives are looking forward to a substantial majority.
Posted: 26 April 2017

General Election 2015 Campaign Calculus

David Cameron Ten Predictions for the Election

Final predictions for the 2015 general election.
Posted: 7 May 2015

Scotland 2010 Result and 2015 Prediction How the SNP is transforming Scotland

Prediction that the SNP are going to win almost all the seats in Scotland.
Posted: 27 Apr 2015

Voter Migration Graphic Tectonic Voter Migrations hurt the Conservatives

Innovative graphic showing the likely migration of voters from party to party.
Posted: 20 Apr 2015

Bar Graph of Poll Error 1992-2010 How wrong are the polls?

Polls are not accurate. This analysis of poll error over recent elections show they usually underestimate the Conservative vote share.
Posted: 13 Apr 2015

Electoral Battleground Graphic The Conservatives are running out of time

A two-dimensional political map showing how far the Conservatives have to move opinion in order to gain a majority.
Posted: 6 Apr 2015

Graph of seats won in hung parliament What happens if nobody wins?

Analysis of the prospects for a hung parliament.
Posted: 30 Mar 2015

Seats won under First-Past-the-Post and Proportional Representation No Electoral System is perfect

Comparison of likely results under both the current first-past-the-post electoral system and proportional representation.
Posted: 24 Mar 2015

Liberal votes at General Elections 1900-2015 Liberal Democrats heading for big trouble

Prediction that the Liberal Democrats are going to lose most of their seats at the election.
Posted: 16 Mar 2015

Rolling Poll-of-Polls 2015 Campaign Update with Two Months to go

With two months to go, the polls suggest that Labour is going to be the largest party at Westminster.
Posted: 11 Mar 2015

Pre-election support for Leader as PM 1979-2015 Only Ed Miliband can stop Labour now

Although Labour is polling well, their leader is unpopular with the British public. He may lose Labour the election.
Posted: 3 Mar 2015

Predicted UKIP Strong Seats Vote UKIP, get the SNP

If UKIP do well, then that might hurt the Conservatives and enable a Labour/SNP coalition.
Posted: 24 Feb 2015

Swing-o-meter graphic SNP surge puts Salmond in pole position

The SNP are predicted to win most of the seats in Scotland, which may change the political calculus.
Posted: 17 Feb 2015

Bar chart of party support by 2010 vote The Conservatives' Green-tinted spectacles

The Conservatives hope to gain from the rise of the Greens. They may be wrong.
Posted: 10 Feb 2015

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