As conference season starts in Britain, Brexit will be a key talking point for all parties.
There was a slight summer lull, after the Chequers agreement was reached among the Conservatives and Boris Johnson and David Davis resigned.
When there was no heave against Theresa May, Brexit talks died down slightly but now it is back in full swing.
I haven’t written as much on Brexit because there are a thousand different views and writers out there, while I still believe no one truly knows where Brexit is heading.
It will be interested to see whether Theresa May can finally unite her party on Chequers at the Conservative’s conference and equally whether Labour ends up backing a second referendum aka a “People’s Vote”.
Chequers versus a People’s Vote would at least add clarity to the situation but unfortunately it looks like neither would have the backing of parliament.
For now, I will simply monitor and try and understand what the ultimate intentions of all the stakeholders are and how their red lines have changed since I wrote this…
The week be a week of negotiations, compromises and debate in Sweden after their General Election yesterday. The path to the next government is very murky right now.
With over 99% of the votes counted in Sweden, the Social Democrats have once again taken the most seats with the largest vote share.
In fact, they slightly outperformed their recent polls and gain 28.4% of the vote, where they have been polling around 24-26%. It is still their worst ever performance in a Swedish General election though only slightly down on its 31.1% in 2014.
Overall, the left coalition look set to take 144 seats (Social Democrats 101, Left Party 28 and Greens 15) while the right coalition will get 143 (Moderates 70, Centre Party 31, Christian Democrats 23 and Liberals 19) and the Sweden Democrats will get 62.
It does seem tricky now for Stefan Lofven to remain in power. The process is now that the former Prime Minister has to present a Govt and for him to fall it needs to be voted against by a majority of the Riksdag.
Unless there are extensive talks and political fallouts with the right coalition, Stefen Lofven can expect to receive a majority opposing his premiership when the vote is called.
However, the right coalition can also expect to receive a majority against any bid they make for government unless they request the assistance of the Sweden Democrats, something which so far has been anathema to all other parties.
If Ulf Kristersson and the Moderates do decide that power trumps this principled of keeping them out, he can expect a backlash that may cause one or more parties in the right coalition to back Stefan Lofven and the Social Democrats.
I will write a broader and more comprehensive review of the election once the dust has settled and it is clear who the new Prime Minister and government composition will be.
For now, it will be important to analyse the content and tone of all the leaders’ speeches and updates, as we try and analyze the appetite for power and change versus maintaining the status quo…
From next Monday, I'll be changing to writing a Weekly Preview first thing on a Monday morning. Over the last few months, I've enjoyed writing a weekly review and it helped ensure I consistently wrote at least something on a weekly basis.
However, I often felt like I was simply reporting on events that were already obsolete. I expect the final four months of 2018 to be incredibly exciting and dynamic. A weekly preview will allow me to focus my attention and prepare for the week ahead. Hopefully it will also be beneficial to any readers I'm fortunate enough to have...
It's been a slow summer in terms of my output. Holidays, pressing professional obligations and the general political summer lull.
However, from here on I will be writing more both here in the Weekly Review as well as more articles like before.
I am very excited politically for the rest of the year. There is a lot happening and I'll do my best to cover as much as I believe I can add value to...
I was away in Sweden for a week but I tried to follow the upcoming election a little (yours truly above chatting in Gothenburg) . I have punted on Stefan Lofven to remain as Prime Minister after it. This is looking a little less likely in recent times as the far right Sweden Democrats rise in the polls and dissatisfaction with the Social Democrats intensifies.
I will try and write a preview before the election on Sunday, September 9th. I think the Social Democrats will still manage to win the most seats but this may not be enough to keep Stefen Lofven and his party in power...
I'm taking the summer break to get my head around a few upcoming elections. The second half of 2018 promises to be very dramatic and I want to be on top of it as much as I can...
I've used an image of the new Zimbabwean President, Emerson Mnangagwa, celebrating his victory...
It’s a week of political events but there is plenty of political posturing in Ireland. I did follow the Pakistan elections quite closely and predicted a win for Imran Khan’s PTI party here…
I’m holding back on articles over the summer though will be following Brexit, Irish presidential election updates and the Swedish Election on Sunday, September 9th…
July 22nd : The antisemtitism smears against Jeremy Corbyn are back but Labour rising in the Polls...
In a week of continued disarray for the Conservatives over Brexit divisions and a number of very tight government victories (and one defeat on the European Medicines Agency) , it should be surprising that there seemed to be more attacks on the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.
The most recent chapter of this long running saga "erupted" when the Labour leadership decided to uphold their complete definition of anti-antisemitism. It led Margaret Hodge, the Labour MP for Barking, calling him a "fucking anti-Semitic racist" to his face.
Their definition has diverged from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, particularly on criticism of Israel.
It has been a weakness for Labour for some time, as the media and rebellious Labour backbenchers attack the leadership over their alleged lack of effort in combating antisemitism in the party.
Fortunately for Labour, the wider electorate do not seem to have been too heavily influenced by this as Labour are now consistently enjoying their largest lead in the polls for some time...
As I predicted, the last edition of my Weekly Review became rapidly obsolete.
On Monday afternoon, Boris Johnson decided to follow in the footsteps of David Davis and resign over Theresa May’s Chequers white paper.
The white paper seems to be an almost unworkable document that has managed to disappoint those on both the leave and remain sides of the Conservative Party.
Since Boris resigned, there have been several other resignations from junior ministers and others with appointed positions within the party.
The pressure has steadily grown on Theresa May since Friday last and with only two weeks to go before the summer recess, there is a palpable sense that the coming week will be extremely dramatic and dangerous for her.
From a polling perspective, Labour got their biggest lead since the 2017 election on Saturday when they were ahead by 4%. Ominously for May, Labour then went and exceeded that on Sunday with a 5% lead.
It didn’t help that last week was also when Donald Trump visited the United Kingdom for the first time as American president. He brought plenty of drama and memorable soundbites, including criticizing Theresa May’s Brexit negotiating strategy.
Again, next week will be dominated by Donald Trump’s visit to Helsinki to meet with Vladimir Putin and Theresa May’s struggles with the Customs and Trade Bills, as well as any potential leadership challenges….
Sinn Fein captured the headlines last week by announcing they will be fielding a candidate for the Irish Presidential election later in the year. They will be up against a very popular incumbent in Michael D Higgins. Personally, I don’t think Sinn Fein believe they have much chance of winning but they must assume it will give them a lot of publicity and media coverage ahead of the probable 2019 General Election.
A fantastic world cup was capped by France beating Croatia 4-2. The whole month has been enjoyable, with brilliant games and very little of the anticipated off the field drama. From a political perspective, there were some nice pictured captures over the month. Macron celebrating Pogba stands out in two ways; 1) he helps with his campaign policy “France is back” and 2) he is working on fixing frayed relations between the government and the greater society as a whole…
David Davis has finally resigned as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union late Sunday night. He had threatened to do so on around five occasions over the past year.
He has also brought down two other ministers from the Department for Exiting the European Union with him, Steve Baker and Suella Braverman.
The problem with writing this Weekly Review is that the story is constantly evolving on Monday morning as I write this.
Since I’ve started a number of further Conservative MPs have commented in support of David Davis, including Andrea Jenkyns, Andrew Bridgen and Bernard Jenkin.
Jenkin’s comments were particularly damning;
“There has been a massive haemorrhage of trust in the last few days because in all my meetings with the prime minister, I never expected this to be the result. And I never expected the vicious briefing against Eurosceptics in the cabinet to take place as it has done…..This isn’t cabinet government and if the prime minister thinks she has consent and support from every member of her cabinet she is deluding herself, as we have just seen.”
Theresa May will announce her next Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union today and we will probably see any further resignations shortly while they have the shield of David Davis.
I’ll sign off for this now and will write something later on today or in the week when more information emerges….