May2015 Authors

All posts by Julia Rampen

The 650 | 8th June 2017

How Labour could confound the polls

While (almost) no one expects Labour to win a majority, a hung Parliament could give Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn the chance to form a coalition government.

After all the excitement about a Labour surge, the pollsters have released their final numbers – and it’s not exactly red roses.

On the eve of the election, YouGov gave the Tories a lead of seven points and ICM gave them a lead of 12. But Survation put Labour just 0.9 percentage points behind the Tories.

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The 650 | 9th May 2017

View from Bristol West: Should Labour be worried by a Green surge?

Overgrown gardens spill over the sandstone walls and onto the quiet, sloping streets. A grinning graffiti skull and a church spire mingle in an unconventional skyline. Shops sell handmade pottery and vegan supplies. Academics pass artists and scientists on the street. If there is such a thing as the typical Green constituency, it probably looks a bit like Bristol West.

In 2015, a Labour candidate, Thangam Debbonaire, took the seat from the Liberal Democrats, with 22,900 votes, and a majority 5,673. But in second place, with 17,227 votes were the Greens. And this general election the candidate is the most high profile yet – the MEP and economist Molly Scott Cato.

I meet Scott Cato on a bank holiday Monday in the new Green party office, where volunteers are piling placards and arranging signs. Maps of the constituency are pinned to a wall. “What has changed is last time was that lots of people really wanted a Green MP but they didn’t believe they could make it happen,” Scott Cato says. The 2015 election made it seem possible. She argues voters are rebelling against the first past the post system: “People aren’t prepared to settle for the Tweedledee and Tweedledum of politics.”

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