Sebastian Payne rssSebastian Payne

Sebastian Payne is managing editor (digital) of The Spectator


The battle for South Thanet — can Nigel Farage win?

21 April 2015 12:58

Isle of Thanet, Kent ‘Are you having me on?’ a lady shouts from inside her bungalow. ‘I’m going back in the bath.’ As with many residents of Ramsgate, this voter, who… Continue reading

David Cameron Meets With John Major In Downing Street on May 26, 2010 in London, England.

Campaign kick-off: 16 days to go

21 April 2015 9:14

The Tories are partying like it’s 1992. Sir John Major is being wheeled out today to reinforce what Michael Fallon and others have said: the SNP are dangerous for Britain. Labour… Continue reading

Prime Minister David Cameron speaks to supporters during the launch of the Welsh Conservative manifesto on April 17, 2015 in Builth Wells, Wales.

Tories in the lead according to ICM and Lord Ashcroft

20 April 2015 16:45

The Conservatives are ahead once again in the latest Guardian/ICM poll. They are two points ahead on 34 per cent – but that’s a five point drop since their surprising… Continue reading

SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond campaign in the Gordon constituency on April 18, 2015 in Inverurie, Scotland.

Campaign kick-off: 17 days to go

20 April 2015 8:51

The campaign’s focus will swing back to Scotland today, with Nicola Sturgeon launching the SNP’s manifesto in Edinburgh. Ed Miliband is also heading north, to address the Scottish TUC and… Continue reading

Nigel Farage on the Sunday Politics today. Photo: BBC.

Nigel Farage: David Cameron’s ‘fanaticism’ is to blame for Libya migrant crisis

19 April 2015 13:25

Nigel Farage tends to stick to one line on foreign affairs: no more foreign wars. On the Sunday Politics today, the Ukip leader claimed that the migrant crisis and tragedies in the… Continue reading

Leader Of The SNP Nicola Sturgeon Gives A Speech On Child Poverty

Jim Murphy, Douglas Alexander and Charles Kennedy set to lose seats as SNP march continues

17 April 2015 17:47

Labour’s efforts to stem the nationalist tide in Scotland aren’t working. Lord Ashcroft has polled eight marginals north of the border and the results confirm that the SNP is on course… Continue reading

UKIP Leader Nigel Farage Attends A Public Meeting In Clacton-On-Sea

Is Douglas Carswell avoiding the HIV question — or should he be given a break?

17 April 2015 13:38

Does Douglas Carswell agree with Nigel Farage’s controversial comments on treating foreigners with HIV? When I asked the Ukip leader, Farage responded ‘Yeah of course, he thinks we should have a… Continue reading

Labour Party leader Ed Miiband, Plaid Cymru Party leader Leanne Wood, Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon and Ukip leader Nigel Farage after the BBC Challengers' Election Debate 2015 at Central Hall Westminster, London..

Campaign kick-off: 20 days to go

17 April 2015 9:38

The third week of the election campaign looks set to end with a day of reflection. Last night’s opposition leaders’ debate provided plenty of things to ponder, not least how… Continue reading

Labour Party leader Ed Miiband, Plaid Cymru Party leader Leanne Wood, Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon and Ukip leader Nigel Farage during the BBC Challengers' Election Debate 2015 at Central Hall Westminster, London. Photo: PA.

Listen: The Spectator’s verdict on the opposition leaders’ TV debate

16 April 2015 23:23

Ed Miliband managed to surpass expectations in tonight’s opposition leaders’ debate. In this View from 22 podcast special, Fraser Nelson, James Forsyth, Isabel Hardman and I discuss the final televised… Continue reading

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Watch: Nigel Farage interview on South Thanet, tactical voting, Douglas Carswell and those HIV comments

16 April 2015 16:00

Nigel Farage has been mysteriously absent from the election campaign trail. In the latest Mini Election interview, I spoke to the Ukip leader about his race in South Thanet and… Continue reading


Who lies behind these three new pro-Conservative blogs?

16 April 2015 12:28

Three new anonymous pro-Tory political blogs have popped up in recent weeks. All are rather curious: none carry bylines, and two are so technically similar that they could have been made in the… Continue reading

The set of tonight's opposition leaders debate. Photo: Ross Hawkins/BBC.

Campaign kick-off: 21 days to go

16 April 2015 10:00

Now that all the manifestos are in the public domain, we are back onto more conventional campaign territory. The big event of today is at 8pm this evening, when the… Continue reading

Ed Miliband, leader of the opposition Labour Party, greets supporters as they leave following the unveiling of their political party's election manifesto in London, U.K., on Friday, March 27, 2015.

Podcast: the rise of left wing populism and Julie Burchill vs. Katie Hopkins

16 April 2015 8:38

What do Ed Miliband, Hillary Clinton and Nicola Sturgeon have in common? On this week’s View from 22 podcast, Jamie Kirchick, Fraser Nelson and Alex Massie discuss the rise of left-wing populism in Britain, Scotland and… Continue reading


New poll shows Tories will benefit from Lib Dem collapse in South West

15 April 2015 20:08

The Liberal Democrats are facing wipeout in their South Western heartlands. According to a new poll from ComRes/ITV News conducted in 14 Lib Dem seats, there is currently a 13-point… Continue reading


Ukip attempts a professional manifesto launch in Thurrock

15 April 2015 13:45

There was one star of Ukip’s manifesto launch today: Suzanne Evans. For once Nigel Farage didn’t steal the show, it was the party’s deputy chairman — and the brains behind… Continue reading

UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage tours a hinge factory in Clacton-On-Sea in Essex, east of London, on April 13, 2015 during a general election campaign visit.

Campaign kick-off: 22 days to go

15 April 2015 9:30

Three manifestos down, two more to go. Yesterday, the Conservatives launched their plan for government and promised to be ‘the party of the working people’ while the Green Party promised to… Continue reading

Jacob Rees-Mogg Visits New Bagpuss Pop-up Shop

Tories are consolidating while Labour are extending leads in key marginals

14 April 2015 16:14

Lord Ashcroft has released his latest round of polling, looking at ten competitive Tory-Labour seats. In all of the constituencies, Ashcroft has reported swings to Labour, ranging from 0.5 per cent… Continue reading

UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage (L) and UKIP Thurrock candidate Tim Aker (R) speak to supporters during a general election campaign visit to Thurrock in Essex, East of London, on April 13, 2015.

Nigel Farage throws red meat to Ukippers in Thurrock

14 April 2015 13:24

Ukip held a campaign rally in a strip club yesterday evening. Well, that’s not entirely fair — it was an ‘entertainment centre’, as party officials were keen to point out,… Continue reading

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Exclusive: watch a preview of the Conservatives’ manifesto launch video

14 April 2015 10:22

David Cameron will take to the stage in an hour to launch the Conservatives’ 2015 manifesto. Before he does, a short video will roll to introduce the themes of the… Continue reading

Prime Minister David Cameron talks with a local family as he campaigns on April 13, 2015 in Alnwick, England.

Campaign kick-off: 23 days to go

14 April 2015 9:12

Today, it’s the Conservative Party’s turn to release its manifesto. Labour pushed out its own document ‘Britain can do better’ yesterday, so it’s Tories’ turn to try and better it.… Continue reading


Tories six points ahead in new Guardian/ICM poll — but Ashcroft has the main parties tied

13 April 2015 16:00

The Guardian declared last Friday was ‘the day the polls turned’ — but they have turned again, it seems. ICM has released a new poll today, which puts the Conservatives six points… Continue reading

Members of the Shadow Cabinet (L) listen as Ed Miliband (R), the leader of the Labour Party, launches his party's general election manifesto in the Old Granada Studios in Manchester, Northern England on April 13, 2015.

Ten things you need to know about Labour’s manifesto

13 April 2015 15:45

Labour has launched its election manifesto in Manchester today, entitled ‘Britain can be better’. The document (pdf here) includes some new policies and others already announced. Here are ten key… Continue reading

Labour Leader Ed Miliband addresses activists as he launches the party's health manifesto at The Guiseley Theatre on April 11, 2015 in Leeds.

Campaign kick-off: 24 days to go

13 April 2015 8:54

The third week of the campaign is going to be all about manifestos. Today, it’s Labour’s turn to launch its plan — while the Tories, Liberal Democrats, Ukip and Greens… Continue reading

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon gives a press conference on April 9, 2015 in London, England.

Campaign kick-off: 27 days to go

10 April 2015 8:59

It’s the Conservatives’ turn to try and bounce back today. After the ‘dead cat’ thrown onto Ed Miliband’s kitchen table, it looks as if Tories parties will be hoping to return… Continue reading

Labour Leader Ed Miliband Announces His Party's Education Manifesto

Podcast special: polls and personal attacks

9 April 2015 23:58

With 28 days to go, is the momentum beginning to move towards Labour? In this View from 22 podcast special, Fraser Nelson, James Forsyth, Isabel Hardman and I discuss the latest polls… Continue reading