Labour Leadership Election News

Keir Starmer Jeremy Corbyn Rebecca Long-Bailey
British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn chairs a meeting in London flanked by Keir Starmer and Rebecca Long-Bailey, April 3, 2019 (PA/Stefan Rousseau)
  • Keir Starmer has been nominated by eleven constituency parties, one trade union (Unison) and one affiliate (environmental group SERA).
  • Rebecca Long-Bailey has won the support of Momentum, although the far-left pressure group founded to support outgoing leader Jeremy Corbyn only gave its roughly 40,000 members the choice between endorsing and not endorsing her.
  • Long-Bailey has also been nominated by three local parties and one affiliated trade union.
  • Lisa Nandy has been nominated by one trade union.
  • Jess Phillips and Emily Thornberry have yet to receive any nominations. Read more “Labour Leadership Election News”

Five Candidates Qualify to Succeed Corbyn as Labour Leader

Keir Starmer Jeremy Corbyn Rebecca Long-Bailey
British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn chairs a meeting in London flanked by Keir Starmer and Rebecca Long-Bailey, April 3, 2019 (PA/Stefan Rousseau)

Five candidates have qualified for the second round of the Labour leadership election in the United Kingdom: Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy, Jess Phillips and Emily Thornberry won the required 10 percent support from lawmakers to make it into the next nominating round. Read more “Five Candidates Qualify to Succeed Corbyn as Labour Leader”

Everything You Need to Know About the Labour Leadership Election

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn attends a conference of European socialist parties in Paris, France, July 8, 2016
British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn attends a conference of European socialist parties in Paris, France, July 8, 2016 (PES)

After leading the British Labour Party into its worst electoral defeat since 1935, Jeremy Corbyn is stepping down as leader.

The contest to succeed him will take three months and pit defenders of Corbyn’s legacy against centrists who believe the party must change.

Here is everything you need to know. Read more “Everything You Need to Know About the Labour Leadership Election”

Price of Brexit May Be United Kingdom Itself

The British flag flies over the Houses of Parliament in London, England
The British flag flies over the Houses of Parliament in London, England (Unsplash/Matt Milton)

Britain’s Conservatives won the election this month, but it may come at the expense of the union of the United Kingdom their party — which has “Unionist” in its name — is sworn to protect.

Conservatives neglected their responsibility to the union by calling the EU referendum in the first place. David Cameron hoped to resolve an intraparty dispute over Europe. He ended up dividing the four nations of the UK. Majorities in Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to remain in the EU. They were outvoted by majorities in England and Wales.

Rather than attempt a “soft” Brexit that might appease Scots and prevent either a border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland or regulatory divergence between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, Cameron’s successors Theresa May and Boris Johnson negotiated a hard break: leaving the European customs union and single market in order to regain full control over immigration and economic policy.

The price could be Scottish independence and Irish unification, making Britain smaller than it has been in three centuries — and making a mockery of Brexiteers’ aspiration to lead a “Global Britain” outside the EU. Read more “Price of Brexit May Be United Kingdom Itself”

Second Scottish Referendum Should Wait

Statue of a unicorn in Edinburgh, Scotland, March 11, 2014
Statue of a unicorn in Edinburgh, Scotland, March 11, 2014 (byronv2)

Scotland’s National Party is arguing for a second independence referendum after gaining seats in Britain’s general election on Thursday.

Party leader and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon believes she has a mandate and Britain’s imminent departure from the EU changes the situation from 2014, when Scots rejected independence 55 to 45 percent.

She is right on the first point, but not yet on the second. Read more “Second Scottish Referendum Should Wait”

Election Shows Britain Needs Electoral Reform

View of the Houses of Parliament in London, England, December 21, 2011
View of the Houses of Parliament in London, England, December 21, 2011 (Ben Sutherland)

The outcome of Britain’s general election on Thursday underscores the need for electoral reform.

Support for the Conservatives rose from 42.4 to 43.6 percent, but in terms of seats they went up from 317 (48.7 percent) to 365 (56.2 percent) out of 650.

Martin Sandbu of the Financial Times argues this hardly qualifies as a landslide. Boris Johnson “played the electoral system better” better than his predecessor, Theresa May. Read more “Election Shows Britain Needs Electoral Reform”

British Post-Election Analysis and Opinion Blog

A policeman stands guard outside 10 Downing Street, the residence of the British prime minister, in London, England, November 28, 2016
A policeman stands guard outside 10 Downing Street, the residence of the British prime minister, in London, England, November 28, 2016 (Shutterstock/Dominika Zarzycka)
  • Boris Johnson has promised to lead a “people’s government” after winning the Conservatives’ biggest parliamentary majority since 1987.
  • Jeremy Corbyn has announced he will resign after leading Labour into its worst election since 1935.
  • Scotland’s National Party has won most seats in the region and is demanding a second independence referendum. Read more “British Post-Election Analysis and Opinion Blog”

What Went Wrong for Britain’s Liberal Democrats?

Jo Swinson unveils the Liberal Democratic manifesto at a party conference in London, England, November 20, 2019
Jo Swinson unveils the Liberal Democratic manifesto at a party conference in London, England, November 20, 2019 (Liberal Democrats)

Britain’s Liberal Democrats were polling as high as 20 percent in September, when it seemed just possible they might beat Labour into third place. The projection now is they will end up with 11 percent support in the election on Thursday, up from 7-8 percent in the last two elections but still a far cry from the 22-23 percent Charles Kennedy and Nick Clegg won in 2005 and 2010.

Jo Swinson, the Liberal Democrat leader, even lost her seat in Dunbartonshire East to the Scottish nationalists by a margin of 149 votes. It means her party will need to find a fourth new leader in five years.

What went wrong? Read more “What Went Wrong for Britain’s Liberal Democrats?”

Conservatives Learned the Lesson of the 2017 Election

Boris Johnson, then the mayor of London, visits Hampstead Heath, April 15, 2012
Boris Johnson, then the mayor of London, visits Hampstead Heath, April 15, 2012 (i-Images/Andrew Parsons)

Britain’s Conservative Party learned the lesson of the 2017 election, when then-Prime Minister Theresa May lost her majority on the back of some rather limp campaigning.

This year, under the more charismatic, if perhaps less reliable, Boris Johnson, the Conservatives have been in an optimistic mood, emphasizing hoped-for possibilities of economic, political and social renewal after Brexit.

The mantra of their campaign was to “get Brexit done” after three years of back-and-forth negotiations with the EU. The calculation was that this would appeal to working-class Labour voters in constituences that want to leave the EU. The exit poll released by the three major broadcasters after polling places closed on Thursday night appears to bear this out. Read more “Conservatives Learned the Lesson of the 2017 Election”

Conservative Landslide in British Election

  • Britain’s ruling Conservative Party is on track to win its biggest parliamentary majority since 1987.
  • The election on Thursday was the worst for Labour since 1935. Jeremy Corbyn has announced he will resign.
  • Scotland’s National Party is expected to win almost all seats in the region and demanding a second independence referendum.
  • The Liberal Democrats fell short of expectations. Party leader Jo Swinson even lost reelection in her own constituency. Read more “Conservative Landslide in British Election”