UK EU referendum explained to young people in new website

Me & EU website A new website is setting out to engage young people in the UK EU referendum, following research which shows some 81 per cent of 12-to-24 year olds feel that they don’t know enough about the EU and how it affects their everyday lives.

The 2014 study completed by Dr Darren Sharpe of the University of East London (UEL) shows that only 7 per cent feel that they know ‘a lot’ about the EU, and just 12% feel that the EU impacts on their lives ‘very much’.

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded site, ‘Me & EU’, aims to give young voters the key, relevant information which will aid and support them in making a decision in the run up to the referendum.

Continue reading

Trump smells victory as Republicans hurtle into the Ides of March – Professor Leighton Vaughan Williams

People at a Political Rally

Political Rally

The Ides of March, or March 15, has long been associated with doom and destruction. In 44BC, confident populist Julius Caesar ignored a soothsayer’s warning and met his demise at the height of his adulation by an adoring public. It was also the day that Czar Nicholas II in 1917 formally abdicated his throne, and the day that Germany occupied Czechoslovakia in 1939. And now it’s the turn of the Republican Party.

This year’s Ides of March could prove pivotal for the US presidential race, as the primaries roll into five big states: Florida, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina and Missouri. With firebrand insurgent Donald Trump still denying all the Republicans’ attempts to stop him, the day’s massive delegate haul threatens to put him firmly on the path to the nomination.

Continue reading

Super Tuesday results point to a Clinton vs. Trump race – Dr Matthew Ashton

Republicans x Democrats

Republicans x Democrats

Short of a electoral miracle, or a huge scandal, it’s now pretty much done and dusted. Super Tuesday has been and gone, clarifying what some people had been hoping for/fearing for months. It’s going to be Clinton vs. Trump in November. Both Clinton and Trump now have enough delegates (and in the case of Clinton super-delegates), to make it incredibly hard for anyone to catch them.

Clinton won seven out of the eleven states up for grabs. That might not sound that impressive, but she won in all the crucial larger states in the south, whereas Sanders only did well in some of the smaller northern states. At this point all the momentum is on her side, and with the party backing her she looks unstoppable. Continue reading

Super Tuesday is here. Is Donald Trump unstoppable? – Professor Leighton Vaughan Williams

Republican primaries or caucuses will take place in 12 states

Republican primaries or caucuses will take place in 12 states

In the wake of Donald Trump’s blowout victory amid the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip, the money has been piling on the billionaire businessman from New York to sweep all aside on the way to a coronation at the Republican convention. But just how smart is this money?

After all, Trump was also favourite to win the Iowa caucuses, not only in the betting markets but also in the polls and the pundits’ conventional wisdom. In the event, he lost Iowa to Ted Cruz, the arch-conservative senator from Texas. Continue reading

Why the polls got it so wrong in the British election

imageIf the opinion polls had proved accurate, we would have been woken up on the morning of May 8 to a House of Commons in which the Labour Party had a chance to form government. By the end of the day, the country would have had a new prime minister called Ed Miliband, writes Professor Leighton Vaughan Williams.

This didn’t happen. Instead the Conservative Party was returned with almost 100 more seats than Labour and a narrow majority. So what went wrong? Why were the polls so far off? And why has the British Polling Council announced an inquiry?

We have been here before. The polls were woefully inaccurate in the 1992 election, predicting a Labour victory, only for John Major’s Conservatives to win by a clear seven percentage points. While the polls had performed a bit better since, history repeated itself this year. Continue reading

David Miliband – the ‘elephant in the room’


Credit: Riots Panel

More coming in from Nottingham Trent University politics expert Dr Matthew Ashton on Labour, and how the party responds to this major blow.

“After this devastating defeat, Labour now faces two big questions about the future of their party. The first is the obvious one about who the next leader is going to be; the second is whether they lost because they were too left wing, or not left wing enough. Should they try to return to the centre ground of the Blair/New Labour years, or present a genuine left wing alternative to the Tory agenda? Continue reading

‘Big losers are the pollsters’ – Dr Matthew Ashton

Dr Matthew AshtonDr Matthew Ashton, a lecturer in politics at Nottingham Trent University, is providing us with some expert view as the full picture around the election results becomes clear.

“Alongside Labour, the Liberal Democrats and UKIP, the big losers are the pollsters. It was like 1992 all over again, but worse. The current result in no way resembles what they were predicting 24 hours ago. From an academic perspective there are a couple of reasons why this might be. Continue reading

Polling Day UK Election Forecast – 7 May 2015

On polling day, Professor Leighton Vaughan Williams, director of the Political Forecasting Unit (PFU) at Nottingham Business School, gives the PFU’s official forecast of the election result. The prediction is based on a weighted combination of a range of variables, including adjusted polling analysis and a number of market-based predictors.

He says: “This is the Election Day forecast of the seats to be obtained by each of the parties. It is our best estimate given our methodology and the available data, but it must be borne in mind that there are large confidence intervals around these numbers, especially given the very late swings picked up in the most recent polls, and the volatility detected in some of the markets. Treat the prediction accordingly. With great caution.”

Continue reading