Inside Westminster

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Nigel Farage
A bad press for Farage doesn't automatically help the Tories
By Rafael Behr - 16 April 10:38

Conservatives are desperate for Ukip to falter but they may be underestimating the stubborness of the anti-politics vote.

The Prime Minister radiates the Westminster elitism of which Farage offers himself as the scourge.
Maria Miller’s belated resignation shows that Cameron is a slow reader of the public mood
By Rafael Behr - 09 April 23:35

The Prime Minister radiates the Westminster elitism of which Farage offers himself as the scourge.

Anti-Establishment venom proves lethal to pro-European arguments
By Rafael Behr - 02 April 22:20

Nick Clegg stress-tested the case for Britain's EU membership in his debates with Nigel Farage and it failed.

NHS funding is a taboo topic for all parties
By Rafael Behr - 31 March 15:13

The Tories blew their chance to be trusted on health and Labour doesn't want to talk about where the money will come from.

Labour MPs fear going into battle without defences against predictable Tory onslaughts.
The sound of Labour silence: Miliband can’t rely on the Tories to keep hurting Cameron for him
By Rafael Behr - 26 March 23:31

Labour MPs fear going into battle without defences against predictable Tory onslaughts.

Polls called it for Ukip but the Lib Dems are happy.
Clegg and Farage both got what they needed out of this debate
By Rafael Behr - 26 March 21:08

Audiences called the debate for Ukip but the Lib Dems are happy to have established their leader as the man who dares defend Britain's EU membership.

Nigel Farage
Labour can’t stand Farage but they don’t want him to fail
By Rafael Behr - 26 March 14:14

Miliband’s reliance on Ukip taking votes from the Tories puts the opposition in an uncomfortable moral position.

The Budget has revealed how vulnerable Labour is to the charge that it doesn't really trust voters to manage their affairs.
Miliband needs to renew his commitment to "people power"
By Rafael Behr - 24 March 7:49

The Budget has revealed how vulnerable Labour is to the charge that it doesn't really trust voters to manage their affairs.

Labour jitters are eclipsed by Tory neurosis.
Growth is up, unemployment is down – but Labour's stubborn poll lead remains
By Rafael Behr - 19 March 23:44

On the Labour side there is relief and a sprinkling of surprise that Tory popularity isn’t rising in sync with GDP.

Osborne in a pub
Osborne tells the same old story but this isn't a "Same Old Tory" Budget
By Rafael Behr - 19 March 15:41

The Chancellor wants to sound as if he has stuck to a plan. But he's made it up as he goes along, which is why Labour attacks miss their target.

Cameron and Clegg smiling
Elections this May will punch a lot of coalition bruises
By Rafael Behr - 13 March 12:41

Europe is half of the problem. Council seats being contested were last filled in 2010, when support for Tories and Lib Dems was highest.

There are far more people who don’t vote Ukip than do.
Westminster is in thrall to the cult of Farage – but Clegg knows that most voters see through it
By Rafael Behr - 12 March 22:46

There are far more people who don’t vote Ukip than do, including many who despise pub-bore nationalism.

He believes No.10 is within reach.
Miliband's EU referendum stance shows he is confident of election victory
By Rafael Behr - 12 March 14:06

The very fact that the Labour leader feels secure enough to affront Eurosceptics suggests he believes No.10 is within reach.

Ivan Lewis: “The next election will be about what kind of society we want to live in”
By New Statesman - 07 March 10:27

An interview with the shadow Northern Ireland minister.

Cameron and Johnson
Leadership speculation harms the Tories but they can't help themselves
By Rafael Behr - 06 March 13:34

Conservative MPs' anguish flows from their knowledge that Cameron is both the best candidate and not good enough to deliver outright victory.

There isn’t much point expecting a more sophisticated account of Britain’s role in the world from the Prime Minister.
Cameron’s petty and parochial view of politics has accelerated the decline of British power
By Rafael Behr - 05 March 13:28

There isn’t much point expecting a more sophisticated account of Britain’s role in the world from the Prime Minister.

Cameron and Merkel
Cameron's European predicament is unchanged by Merkel's visit
By Rafael Behr - 27 February 17:02

Germany is Britain's ally in reforming the EU, but that's no use to Tories who say “reform” and mean exit.

Miliband doesn't want to make a pledge that raises more questions than it answers.
Labour's view on an EU referendum - a work in progress
By Rafael Behr - 27 February 8:32

Miliband doesn't want to make a pledge that raises more questions than it answers.

The Prime Minister can see the strategic as well as the economic logic.
Behind the gun-slinging sceptic act, Cameron is a good European. Will he dare show it in public?
By Rafael Behr - 27 February 1:04

The Prime Minister can see the strategic as well as the economic logic that keeps Britain in Europe.

There is no guarantee that fair distribution of opportunity.
Westminster isn’t qualified to debate how wealth and power are stitched up in Britain
By Rafael Behr - 19 February 22:29

There is no guarantee that fair distribution of opportunity will even be a factor in the election.

Miliband at a podium
Miliband has a record of picking his fights shrewdly
By Rafael Behr - 17 February 13:08

The Labour leader's combative words on climate change fit a pattern of well-calculated risk

Cameron's travels: first in opposition, then as Prime Minister
Captured Cameron: how David Cameron is tied down by his own party
By Rafael Behr - 13 February 8:54

Under pressure from party moderates, bullied by the Tory right, the Prime Minister seems caught in a trap of his own making.

Miliband wants to win the next election as a healer, but his best chance is an ugly four-way scrap
By Rafael Behr - 12 February 21:15

When inspiration fails, brute organisational force can still carry Labour over the line.

Going postal - why Nigel Farage is cross about Wythenshawe
By Rafael Behr - 12 February 13:27

Labour has learned lessons from the Lib Dem campaign in Eastleigh last year.

Milibandism's next chapter: reforming the state
By Rafael Behr - 07 February 12:24

The Labour leader is, after much hesitation, ready to contemplate the problem of running public services in austere times.

Miliband doesn’t want to sack Balls – he just wants to steal the Treasury’s power
By Rafael Behr - 29 January 22:57

The Labour leader's plans for government can factor in the prospect of having Balls as his chancellor, but in a shrunken empire.

Labour and the Tories are both avoiding the tax debate we need
By Rafael Behr - 28 January 7:49

The repetitive and needlessly venomous exchanges over the 50p rate distract from the long-term question of how we should pay for the services that we value in an era of austerity.

It's the direction, not the state of the economy that counts
By Rafael Behr - 24 January 17:17

Labour can be right about the economics of the cost of living crisis and still lose the argument in 2015.

Everyone in Westminster knows that the nation’s creaking infrastructure.
Even when they agree, Cameron and Miliband dress their vision for Britain in clashing colours
By Rafael Behr - 22 January 22:51

Everyone in Westminster knows that the nation’s creaking infrastructure needs an upgrade but Cameron’s “global race” and Miliband’s “new economy” must be depicted as ideological antitheses.

The Lib Dems can't afford to look this ridiculous
By Rafael Behr - 21 January 7:45

The Rennard shambles risks undermining the graduation into a serious party of government.

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