Centre for Britain and Europe blog

All the latest British and European politics news.

AUKUS – Confronting China or fracturing the Western alliance?

At 10pm on 15th September, a noticeably tired looking Boris Johnson virtually joined Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and US President Joe Biden to announce a new defence pact that would be, rather unimaginatively, called AUKUS. The tripartite pact would initially focus on the development of nuclear-powered submarines for Australia but would also include closer […]


By-elections Part 3: a win, but not a triumph for the SNP: Airdrie and Shotts – 13th May, SNP hold, share of the vote: 46.4%

The Airdrie and Shotts By-election; squeezed between the Hartlepool triumph, and the Lib Dem Landslide in Chesham and Amersham, became the forgotten By-election of the 2021 spring-summer campaign. This by-election was further overshadowed by the Scottish Parliament elections just a week before. In those elections the SNP took 47.7% of the constituency vote in Scotland, […]


By-elections Part 2: Confirming what we think we know: Hartlepool – 6th May, Conservative gain, share of the vote: 51.9%

In the UK governments typically lose by-elections, or at best they hold on to the seat. It is exceptional for a government to actually gain a seat. In 1982, the then Conservative government gained Mitcham and Morden as the Falklands War[1]reached its climax[2]. Since then, Hartlepool is only the second time a government has gained […]


The Parliamentary By-elections Spring-Summer 2021: what do they tell us about British politics today?

Over the ten weeks between May 6th and July 1st four Westminster Parliamentary by-elections[1] were held in the UK. These were for the constituencies of: Hartlepool in the North-East of England (Conservative gain from Labour) Airdrie and Shotts in the Scottish Central Belt region, between Glasgow and Edinburgh (SNP hold) Chesham and Amersham in the Buckinghamshire […]


Why be such a pain?

Something’s bothering me about Brexit. The main thrust of Johnson’s time in Number 10 has been ‘getting Brexit done’, which I have always taken to mean ‘getting Brexit off the front pages so we can get back to some more interesting/important thing’. This has manifested itself in Johnson’s lack of engagement with the detail (or […]


1 2 3 4