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Leave or Remain? A 2019 Spotter’s Guide to MPs

Leave or Remain? A 2019 Spotter’s Guide to MPs

I had a conversation this week in which I referred to MPs as being Remain or Leave supporters, based on their 2016 vote. That person said, very reasonably, “Shouldn’t we be base things on their current positions, not on what they did in 2016?” That’s fair enough. People change their minds. And their are some MPs, such as Ben Bradley who may have voted Remain in 2016 but whose words and voting record since have been strongly pro-Brexit (though I’m…

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It would be folly for either side to count on victory in a second referendum

It would be folly for either side to count on victory in a second referendum

In my latest piece for Conservative Home, I argue that the febrile politic climate makes the result of a second Brexit referendum inherently unpredictable. This was actually written two weeks ago, but due to local elections and other matters, I’ve only just got round to linking to it. Read the full piece below. https://www.conservativehome.com/platform/2019/05/iain-mansfield-neither-remain-nor-leave-could-assume-victory-in-a-second-referendum.html

Thoughts on the Local Elections

Thoughts on the Local Elections

This may have been the election in which the Lib Dems finally put tuition fees and the Coalition years behind them. Despite their success, it’s worth noting they still won fewer councillors than in any local election between 1993 and 2010 – but they made big gains from a very low base, and won a national equivalent vote-share of 19%, all of which points to them being back as a significant player. It was a terrible night for the Conservatives….

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Twelve posts from my first year of blogging

Twelve posts from my first year of blogging

A year after this blog (re)started, I thought I’d share a dozen of my favourite posts. A mixture of those that were most read and most commented on at the time (on here or on Facebook/Twitter) as well as a few of my personal favourites. In chronological order: “Have had enough of experts…”: An attempt to find common ground A look at why Leave voters may legitimately share a sceptisism in some cases of experts who have very different backgrounds…

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On Leaving the Civil Service

On Leaving the Civil Service

Almost a year ago today I formally left the civil service. Handing in my notice was one of the hardest things I’ve voluntarily done. I’d joined the civil service immediately after leaving university and loved it. I’d done incredibly exciting things, from meeting ministers, working on policy as it was formed, going to No. 10 and to the House of Commons and even working overseas in the Philippines. The work was meaningful, enjoyable and interesting; I’d worked with some of…

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Confirmation Bias and Vote Leave’s Crimes

Confirmation Bias and Vote Leave’s Crimes

The differing opinions over whether the fact that Vote Leave broke electoral law had any impact on the result of the Brexit Referendum offer one of the clearest examples of confirmation bias in recent history. In the absence of confirmation bias, opinions should be uncorrelated. The crime wasn’t discovered (or even suspected) until well after the vote, so there’s no way one’s views on the impact could have affected an individual’s votes. And while many other political issues are correlated…

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The death of democracy?

The death of democracy?

June 2020. A vote of no-confidence has toppled the government and precipitated a general election. After one of the bitterest, most rancorous campaigns in British history, a divided nation goes to the polls. The next morning sees Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party claim victory by just over a million votes, on the highest voter turnout in more than two decades. With a working majority of only 12 seats, Labour has won by the skin of their teeth. Horrified by the thought…

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How times change

How times change

As someone who grew up in the ’90s, one of the things I find most surreal about current political debates is the left’s whole-hearted embrace of global capitalism. I was a teenager in the 90s and a student in the early 2000s. I remember reading about the ‘Battle of Seattle’ anti-WTO protests, the Make Poverty history campaign about debt forgiveness and learning in geography about the plight of Vietnamese coffee growers (caused by, so we were taught, the World Bank)….

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We have nothing to fear from No Deal

We have nothing to fear from No Deal

In my latest article for Conservative Home, I draw on my 2014 Brexit paper to show that we have nothing to fear from No Deal and set out high level policy proposals for how we would make it a success. Read the full article below: Iain Mansfield: We have nothing to fear from No Deal

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Brexit

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Brexit

My latest post on Wonkhe considers five silver linings for the university sector on Brexit. ” Our sector’s values and culture are not determined by whether laws are made in Brussels, Westminster or Holyrood. Regardless of what deal we leave on, or whether we leave on no deal at all, I’m confident that Britain’s universities will continue to be global, outwardly looking and cosmopolitan places, extending a welcoming hand to people from across the world.”