Posts Tagged ‘Philip Cowley’

Jonathan Todd reviews “The British General Election of 2010” by Dennis Kavanagh and Philip Cowley

11/10/2010, 04:50:33 PM

“The characteristic virtue of Englishmen is power of sustained practical activity and their characteristic vice a reluctance to test the quality of that activity by reference to principles.”

So said R. H. Tawney. Whereas the mantra of Alicia Kennedy, Labour’s director of field operations, during this year’s general election was ‘where we work, we win’ – a eulogy to the power of sustained practical Labour activity. Now, we can test the quality of that activity by reference to a simple principle: did it secure Labour representation as effectively as it could have done?

Only now is it possible fully to answer this question. Because Dennis Kavanagh and Philip Cowley have just published the 2010 edition of what used to be known as the ‘Butler book’.

Kavanagh and Cowley have ably stepped into the big shoes of David Butler, whose foreword to the 2010 volume means he has been involved in these election studies for 65 years. Cowley’s revolts project, which, though struggling for funding, has so far just about made into this parliament, has debunked many myths about backbench behaviour. This study of the 2010 general election is equally successful at disentangling hype from reality. (more…)

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The week Uncut

10/10/2010, 01:48:50 PM

This week was all about George and Vince. George’s child benefit cuts caused confusion throughout the Tory ranks. Dave said sorry. Vince’s incredible u-turn on university fees caused a shock wave throughout the Lib Dem ranks. Nick said nothing.

Ed got dealt his hand. 19 players picked by the PLP, with some big names left on the bench. He played his wildcard and rescued one or two of his campaign faithful. Gordon’s Scottish mafia are gone, the ‘new generation’ hail from Yorkshire.

Lower down the food chain, the junior shadow ministers should be named today, with lots of the ‘010 intake expected to make a showing.

In case you missed them, here are Uncut’s best read pieces of the last seven days:

Michael Dugher said Liam Fox is right (and George and Dave are wrong) on Defence cuts

Dan Hodges deconstructed the new shadow cabinet

Uncut gave you our pen portraits of the new front bench team

Philip Cowley talked us through the incumbency factor

Tom Watson wrote to David Cameron about the new Andy Coulson allegations

ITV News’ Alex Forrest took her baby somewhere funny

Tory  Margot James couldn’t quite figure out her own party’s child benefit cuts

Chris Bryant wrote a poem for national poetry day

Nick Keehan says we shouldn’t join the Tories in going soft on sentencing

Dave Howells gave us his take on Cameron’s big society big moment

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Philip Cowley finds the incumbency factor alive and well in 2010

07/10/2010, 02:20:12 PM

The first obvious evidence of what (at least to me) was one of the more surprising aspects of the election results came at just past 2am on 7 May, when Labour held Gedling. It was the first obvious manifestation of something which the 10pm exit poll had claimed to detect, but which I wanted to see for myself before I believed it: evidence that hard-working Labour incumbents – in this case, Vernon Coaker – could survive against the swing.

The Conservatives would end the election having taken almost a clean sweep of seats from Labour in their top 100 targets. But of the nine they failed to take, eight were held by an incumbent Labour MP. (more…)

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