Tees Valley Mayoral result suggests Tory gains in the general election

I have to say that I was surprised when I heard that Ben Houchen had been elected as the new Mayor of the Tees Valley. Surprised, but very pleased. When you consider that this area covers Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, Hartlepool, and Darlington, it points the way to Conservative gains in Darlington and Hartlepool in the general [...]

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Early thoughts on the local election results

With very few votes counted overnight, we only have a small snapshot this morning, but the the snapshot does paint a picture. My predictions in Labour marginals have relied on a substantial drop in the UKIP vote combined with a direct swing from Labour to the Conservatives. This is what has happened in Lincolnshire, with [...]

Labour Marginals – Great Grimsby

In some ways, this is a difficult one to call. According to Paddy Power, the betting is going the Conservatives' way. In the 2010 general election, Victoria Ayling was the Conservative candidate, and she very nearly unseated Austin Mitchell. His majority was just 714, however, that result has to be viewed through the prism of [...]

The UK should be prepared to walk away from Brexit talks and call the EU’s bluff

Throughout the EU Referendum campaign, I said that reverting to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules would not be disastrous. Indeed, as the respected economist, Ruth Lea, has pointed out, the UK would thrive under WTO rules. "The prospects for a bespoke deal are, therefore, reasonably positive. But, if there is no bespoke agreement, then the [...]

Labour Marginals – Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland

This seat was first fought in 1997 and mostly replaced the former seat of Langbaurgh. Richard Holt won Langbaurgh for the Conservatives in 1983. He died in 1991, and the seat was won in a by-election by Ashok Kumar for Labour. Kumar lost the seat to Michael Mates at the 1992 general election, but effectively [...]

News from the doorstep in Loughborough – and it’s not good for Labour

This article published today on ConservativeHome is well worth a read. As it is written by a Conservative councillor in Loughborough, it is naturally promoting the Conservative cause and could be biased. What is interesting, though, is it chimes with what I think: the Labour vote is crumbling in its heartlands. Although Jeremy Corbyn is [...]