At the time of going to press the Conservatives have a lead of just six points, according to the most recent poll result. This is nowhere near enough to secure them a majority, but it does indicate how it is both an interesting and exciting time to follow politics and the polls. The next general election could present us with a hung Parliament, something the country has rarely experienced in modern times. And in order to get a majority of justone the Tory Party will require an eight point lead on election day.
In recognition of this, election expert Robert Waller will - over the next 18 months - explore the possible results at the next election by examining the effect that boundary changes and marginal seats will have. He kicks the journey off in the West Midlands because, he writes, “it is often regarded as the vital swing region in English politics.” (See page 68 for his full report.)
Exactly who are nation’s top 100 political journalists? We reveal who’s hot, and who’s not in Total Politics’ exclusive survey (page 29). The poll was voted for by MPs, journalists and Total Politics readers. We’ve broken it all down so you can see which groups and parties voted for whom. I have to admit to being a little disappointed that just five female journalists made the top 50. Overall, however, the results provide great insight into how our political journalists are viewed by politicos and, more interestingly, by their peers.
In addition to our superb interview with Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Hazel Blears, speaks with refreshing honesty to Iain Dale about her concerns over the government’s indecision over the last six months.
Need some help compiling your Christmas list? You’ll find some great suggestions on pages 56-57. Finally, I’d like to wish all our readers a very Happy Christmas and New Year.