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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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My local election result

My local election result

Unfortunately I was unsuccessful in my attempt to be elected as a Conservative Councillor for my local ward of Panshanger in the Borough of Welwyn Hatfield. Last year the Conservatives lost this ward to the Liberal Democrats by 37 votes. After a very hard-fought campaign I actually managed to secure more votes than the previous Conservative candidate. Unfortunately, the winning candidate, Liberal Democrat Jane Quinton, did even better, extending the Liberal Democrat lead to nearly 200. National issues clearly played…

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Ten Things I’ve Learned From Canvassing

Ten Things I’ve Learned From Canvassing

With postal votes for the local elections landing on people’s doorsteps today, I thought I’d share 10 things I’ve learned from canvassing over the last few months, while I’ve been campaigning to be elected to the Borough Council as the Conservative candidate in my local ward. Nearly everyone is polite. I’ve counted, and it’s fewer than 1 in 100 houses where someone is actually rude. Even people who don’t want to talk to you usually just say so, politely. This…

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Raising Awareness of Gosling Sports Hall

Raising Awareness of Gosling Sports Hall

My latest leaflet delivery to Panshanger homes focuses on raising awareness about Gosling Sports Hall. You can read the leaflet here. Thanks to some good work by community groups, the council and our Conservative MP, Grant Shapps, GLL (the company that owns Gosling) has now agreed ‘to work with the community to keep the facility open, potentially by involving user groups in “either a joint or self-managed arrangement”’ This is a big step forward from where we were a month…

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Endless surrenders?

Endless surrenders?

There’s a situation I observe that has a strange symmetry. Very often I’ll read someone on the left lamenting a series of endless surrenders to the right, such that officially left wing parties now embrace policies that once were considered right wing. They point to privatisation, immigration laws and casualisation of labour and say that forty years ago Jeremy Corbyn’s policies would be considered fairly moderate. And at the same time, I’ll often read someone on the right lamenting a…

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Macron, Brexit and the bankruptcy of so-called ‘centrism’

Macron, Brexit and the bankruptcy of so-called ‘centrism’

I’ve tried not to give a blow by blow account of the Brexit negotiations. But with riots against Macron in their fourth week in France, our negotiations at an impasse and our government (perhaps) on the brink of collapse, it seems appropriate to draw some of these strands together. Macron Why talk of the riots though? Well, for the simply reason that Macron is the darling of the Establishment, that same coalition of multinational business, highly educated metropolitans, academia, big…

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Conservative Home: We Must recapture the commanding heights of society from the left

Conservative Home: We Must recapture the commanding heights of society from the left

In my latest article for Conservative Home, I discuss how the right has ceded the core ground of society’s opinion formers and thought leaders to the left, and what we might do to reclaim it. Read the full article below. Iain Mansfield: We must recapture the commanding heights of society from the Left

My first Conservative Party Conference

My first Conservative Party Conference

This week I attended my first ever Conservative Party Conference (for that matter, my first ever political conference). As a civil servant, these had been strictly off limits, a banned political activity as mysterious and transgressive as they come, so it was with particular excitement that I headed up to Birmingham on Saturday. Some people, like me, may have absorbed a number of myths about the Conference, based on media reporting; namely, that it is expensive, that it is overly…

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