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No breathing space for Miliband and Labour

23 November 2014 10:06
Ed Miliband's Speech To Scottish Labour Party Conference

This was meant to be the weekend when Ed Miliband got some ‘breathing space’, a chance to recover after the last torrid few weeks. But his—and his party’s—troubles are still… Continue reading


Gordon Brown bottles out of an election – again

23 November 2014 8:31

It’s being reported that Gordon Brown has belatedly decided not to fight the next general election. That would make sense. The SNP is on the rise, and a Survation poll… Continue reading


The politician who can fill a venue quicker than Kylie

22 November 2014 14:45

What’s the most significant political story of the week, Ukip winning Rochester or Emily Thornberry’s resignation? Well, I suspect, it might be neither of them and that the really big… Continue reading


We’re too frightened of appearing ‘racist’ to have a debate about immigration

22 November 2014 12:56
(Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty)

A rather typical 24 hours in the life of modern Britain.  Everyone does another round of ‘we need to be able to talk about immigration.’  The main parties once again… Continue reading


Spectator competition: ‘Jabberwocky’ for the digital age (plus: Christmas round robins from fictional characters)

22 November 2014 9:30
The slaying of the Jabberwock (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The call for scenes describing a well-known character from children’s literature past grappling with a 21st-century problem drew an entry full of wit and variety. Pamela Dow reimagined Louisa May… Continue reading


Nigel Farage: I would love a Labour defector to join Ukip

21 November 2014 18:25
Nigel Farage outside Rochester Castle in Kent, after Mark Reckless won the Rochester and Strood by-election last night.  Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Ukip’s victory in Rochester has lead to the inevitable question of ‘what next?’ for the party. Now that Nigel Farage has two representatives in the House of Commons, his main… Continue reading


One night in Rochester: how Ukip won and what comes next

21 November 2014 16:01
A victorious Nigel Farage emerges in Rochester on Friday morning. Photo: Sebastian Payne.

How did Ukip steal their second seat from the Tories with a candidate as uninspiring as Mark Reckless? Now that he has begun work in the Commons alongside Douglas Carswell, here’s… Continue reading


Ed Miliband reveals he ‘feels respect’ whenever he sees a white van

21 November 2014 15:21

The fallout from Emily Thornberry’s ‘snobbish’ photo of a flag-furnished house in Rochester looks like it still has plenty of gas. The house’s owner, Dan Ware, has travelled to Thornberry’s… Continue reading


Thanks to Emily Thornberry’s resignation, the biggest losers from Rochester were Labour

21 November 2014 13:50
The real losers (Photo: Ben Pruchnie/Getty)

Walk round the Commons today and it is striking that Tory MPs are in relatively good spirits while Labour ones looks distinctly more downcast. At first this seems odd, after… Continue reading


Reckless gets a cross party welcome

21 November 2014 13:38
Reckless delivering a speech in Rochester following the Ukip victory.

On zero sleep and only seven hours after being re-elected, Mark Reckless was back in the Commons and sitting on the opposition benches. Rushing back to take part in a… Continue reading


Bookies point to Philip Hollobone as next Tory-Ukip defector

21 November 2014 12:02
The odds Ladbrokes are giving on the next defectors and the 2015 election. Photo: Sebastian Payne for The Spectator.

Forget opinion polling, bookmakers are usually the most astute predictors of election outcomes. Ladbrokes are out in force in Rochester town centre this morning, giving odds on what might happen… Continue reading


Rochester points to a British general election where no one wins

21 November 2014 8:21
(Photo: Carl Court/Getty)

Rochester is not a freak. It has given us a glimpse of what bookies now believe to be the lost likely outcome of the next election: that no one wins.… Continue reading


Will there be more defections to Ukip?

21 November 2014 8:14

Now that Ukip has bagged a seat that the Tories thought they could win, other would-be defectors may well be having a good long think about their chances. The fact… Continue reading


Ukip’s Mark Reckless wins Rochester by-election

21 November 2014 4:29
Nigel Farage (L) and Mark Reckless (R) shake hands before the by-election announcement in Rochester, Kent on November 21, 2014. Photo: Getty.

Rochester, Kent Mark Reckless has become Ukip’s second member of Parliament, winning the Rochester and Strood by-election with 16,687 votes – a majority of 2,920 – or 42 percent of… Continue reading


Ukip on course for victory in Rochester – but no Tory panic

21 November 2014 0:23
UKIP Hold A Public Meeting  Before Rochester And Strood By-Election

Counting is underway in the Rochester and Strood by-election and the early indications are that Ukip has won the seat on a turnout slightly over 50%. The result is expected… Continue reading


Podcast special: was Emily Thornberry right to resign?

20 November 2014 23:50
Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 05.16.00

Just a few hours ago, Labour’s Emily Thornberry was protesting that she had no idea why anyone would take offence at her Tweeting a picture of a Rochester house with three St… Continue reading


Emily Thornberry resigns over Rochester Tweet

20 November 2014 22:32
Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 16.48.11

Emily Thornberry has resigned from the shadow Cabinet for sending a Tweet that appeared to mock a Rochester voter who was flying several St George’s Cross from their window and… Continue reading


Emily Thornberry apologises for Rochester tweet

20 November 2014 19:01
Labour shadow cabinet

Update: Emily Thornberry has stepped down as the Shadow Attorney General. More to follow… After being given a dressing-down by Ed Miliband, Islington MP Emily Thornberry has apologised for tweeting a… Continue reading


Nigel Farage: ‘I think we’re going to win’ Rochester and Strood

20 November 2014 18:45
Nigel Farage emerges from Sweet Expectations with high expections for tonight's result. Photo: Sebastian Payne for The Spectator

Rochester, Kent With five hours before the polls close in Rochester and Strood, Nigel Farage is confident that Ukip will romp home to victory. Outside the Sweet Expectations shop on Thursday evening,… Continue reading


Mark Reckless already arranging return to Commons as Ukip MP

20 November 2014 18:26
(Photo: Getty)

This story first went out in tonight’s Evening Blend email, a free round-up and analysis of the day’s political developments. Sign up here. Mark Reckless seems pretty confident of a win… Continue reading


Emily Thornberry exposes Labour’s agony in Rochester

20 November 2014 16:49
Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 16.48.11

The Tories expect to lose in Rochester tonight – and blame Labour. Had it not been imploding, they argue, the Ukip vote would not be so big. And why is… Continue reading


The top students who are too lazy to argue

20 November 2014 12:58
London 2012 - UK Landmarks - Oxford

Don’t be a Stepford student — subscribe to The Spectator’s print and digital bundle for just £22 for 22 weeks.  Brendan O’Neill writes this week’s cover piece on his encounters with ‘Stepford… Continue reading


Labour tries to avoid Commons humiliation over the West Lothian question

20 November 2014 12:05

MPs are preparing to debate devolution this afternoon, with a motion from Dominic Raab which includes a call for a review of the Barnett formula and a resolution to the… Continue reading


Farewell Alex Salmond, hello Nicola Sturgeon

20 November 2014 11:36
Nicola Sturgeon Is Voted In As Scotland's First Minister

And so the Age of Nicola dawns. Elected First Minister by the Scottish Parliament yesterday; sworn in this morning. Taking First Minister’s Questions this afternoon. Alex Salmond’s departure was a… Continue reading


Podcast: Brendan O’Neill on Oxford’s Stepford Students, and Scotland’s new first minister

20 November 2014 8:34
Students take part in a protest march against fees and cuts in the education system on November 19, 2014 in London, England.

Do today’s students care about free speech? On this week’s View from 22 podcast, Brendan O’Neill and Harriet Brown from the University of Oxford debate this week’s cover feature on… Continue reading