Welcome to Britain’s First Ever Prime Ministerial Primary

This blog post, in an abridged form, has been republished at the LSE’s Politics and Policy blog here.

#JezWeCan? It’s a laughable comparison, of course: the engrossing election of 2008 which brought the United States its first African-American president, at the expense of its first female one, propelled by the power of hope, change, and the unifying rhetoric of the most gifted politician the twenty first century has so far seen. Continue reading “Welcome to Britain’s First Ever Prime Ministerial Primary”

What’s at the end of Facebook’s rainbow?

(c) Philippa Willitts on Flickr
(c) Philippa Willitts on Flickr

In a talk I gave at the Data Power conference in Sheffield a couple of weeks ago, I posed the following thought experiment: what if Mark Zuckerberg woke up feeling like Rupert Murdoch? For decades it’s been accepted – if seldom celebrated – that Murdoch’s red-tops command serious influence over the British electorate. Not for nothing, then, is it said that ‘it was the Sun wot won it‘ for John Major’s Conservatives in 1992; similar arguments could be made for each general election since, not least the most recent one. Continue reading “What’s at the end of Facebook’s rainbow?”

What the Thornberry Affair tells us about politicians online

Published on the the LSE British Politics and Policy blog.

Many commentators have speculated what was going through the mind of Emily Thornberry, the shadow Attorney General, when she tweeted a picture of a terraced Rochester house draped in three England flags and a white van parked in the driveway, with the simple caption ‘Image from Rochester’. Continue reading “What the Thornberry Affair tells us about politicians online”

What to Expect on Election Night

(C) Stijn Vogels
After eighteen months of campaigning, Americans vote in earnest in Tuesday’s presidential election, with opinion polls suggesting a tight race between incumbent President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. For those planning on staying up to watch it, the crucial questions are: at what point will the identity of the next president be discernible, and when will we know for sure?

Continue reading “What to Expect on Election Night”

Time for Tea in the USA?

Published in Exepose.

On November 2 Americans will head to the polls and vote in a series of congressional, state and local elections. These midterm elections are so-called because they fall half way through a President’s four year term. Therefore, one name that will definitely not be on any ballot paper is Barack Obama. Such is the continuing media and public fascination with the man that the elections are being considered a referendum on the President’s first two years in office. I have to conclude, having spent eight weeks working on a Senate race this summer, that American elections and these ones in particular are about so much more than the incumbent of the Oval Office. Continue reading “Time for Tea in the USA?”