Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Election 2010 Blog up for several awards

We are pleased to report that the social media campaign that we ran during this year’s general election has been nominated for three awards.

The How-Do Public Services Communications Awards have shortlisted the blog in two categories – Most Innovative use of New Media and Best Low Budget Campaign.

The campaign has also been shortlisted in the Charted Institute of Public Relations Pride Awards 2010 (Midlands Region) for Best Use of Digital PR. The blog - which ran from February through June, and featured both staff and Phd students from the School - generated media coverage for the university estimated at a value of £4 million and material from it reached an audience of some 46 million people.

Thanks to all who took the time to read.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Same candidate elected, in two different constituencies, for two different parties

The parliamentary constituencies of Feverford in Kent and Trough in Hertfordshire are not especially well known. But linking these two seats - one Conservative, one Labour - is one astonishing fact, somehow missed in all the acres of coverage about the election. They are represented, with the aid of a false beard, by the same person.
In fact, the election of James Stewart-Blundel (the Conservative) and Jim Blundel (Labour) occurred over 50 years ago and is (of course) a work of fiction. This most strange of political coalitions, two parties embodied in the same person, is contained in the 1953 novel Gentian Violet by Edward Hyams, best read as a commentary on the stifling atmosphere of 1950s consensus politics. For more on political fiction, including toilets and killer robots, try this article, in the latest edition of Total Politics.

Professor Philip Cowley

Monday, 24 May 2010

Why we need a stronger Electoral Commission

The election may be over – Thirsk and Malton notwithstanding – but the fall out from the polling station queues continues. The Electoral Commission’s Interim Report came out last week. It makes for fascinating – and at times, revealing – reading.
Problems occurred at 27 polling stations, across 16 constituencies. The Commission estimate that they involved at least 1,200 people. As a proportion of the 40,000 polling stations in action during the day (or the 29.6 million people who voted), they are a tiny proportion, but some of the administrative cock-ups found are pretty dire.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

The next Great Reform Act? Pull the other one, Nick.

"...for someone who says he has embraced a new way of doing politics Clegg’s grand rhetoric bears all the hallmarks of the spin and over-selling which the previous Labour administration was said to be guilty of..."

Nick Clegg has called the new government’s measures to reform politics ‘the most significant programme of empowerment by a British government since the great reforms of the 19th Century’, indeed since the Great Reform Act of 1832.

The new Baldwin?

"I for one think that the past is as much of a guide to the future as our current neophilia. On that basis, LibDems beware!"
Few Liberal Democrats have put their coalition with the Conservatives into historical perspective. This is partly due to all politicians’ intoxication with the supposed novelty of any situation these days, something they share with most of their fellow citizens. How many times did Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg assert their embrace of a ‘new politics’?

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

And the election should be called....

"The election battle will be succeeded by the battle of the election books..."
Philip Cowley has asked us what we would call the last election? I think we should name it the Don’t Know Election.

Monday, 17 May 2010

But what would you call it?

"...if you were going to name the 2010 election, what would you call it?"

The opening book in the ‘Nuffield’ election series – The British General Election of 1945 – lists a series of ‘named’ elections: 1874, when the Liberals went down in a flood of gin and beer; the Midlothian election of 1880; the Khaki election of 1900; the Chinese Slavery election of 1906; the People's Budget election of 1910; the 'Hang the Kaiser' election of 1918; and the 1924 ‘Zinovieff letter’ election.