Politics

Special report on St Helena: the island of fading hopes and dreams

By Lord Ashcroft

First published on ConservativeHome.com on 14 December 2018.

The breath-taking view during the last half-mile of the short taxi ride from St Helena Airport to the heart of Jamestown is one that I will never tire of admiring. (more…)

Polls show that voters are hardening against a Brexit compromise

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday 12 December 2018.

Many admire Theresa May’s fortitude in trying to construct a Brexit deal that will simultaneously please or at least placate Leavers, Remainers and the EU – but they have rather less regard for the fruits of her endeavours.

My latest research finds that few believe the draft Brexit deal honours the referendum result, or that it beats remaining in the EU on our current terms. And while voters overall still think, just, that Mrs May’s deal is better than no deal, Tories as a whole now disagree, as do Leavers by a wide margin.

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What should happen next? What really matters? And how bad is this crisis? My new Brexit deal poll

By Lord Ashcroft

The vote has been deferred while the Prime Minister seeks “reassurances” from the EU, but her message to the House of Commons yesterday was clear – this is the only Brexit deal on the table, and there is no realistic prospect of substantially changing it. Theresa May’s campaign to sell the agreement to sceptical MPs and the public therefore continues. My last survey in late November found that the proposed deal had a cool reception, but with large numbers still to make up their minds. My latest 5,000-sample poll finds shows that more people now have an opinion – but with the balance tipping away from the deal rather than in its favour.

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Tanzania – a case study in the bulging textbook of aid failure

By Lord Ashcroft

First published on ConservativeHome.com on 30 November 2018.

I  first visited Tanzania aged six. My father was a colonial civil servant so we were living in Malawi, then called Nyasaland and a wonderful place for a child such as me to grow up. We were heading home on leave, taking the ship to Tilbury, and so travelled through the bustle of Dar Es Salaam, enabling my dad to meet up with some colleagues. The city seemed an amazing, exotic place through my young eyes, with its thriving port and throng of cultures. (more…)

My new Brexit poll: good for Theresa May, bad for her deal

By Lord Ashcroft

After perhaps the most difficult fortnight as Prime Minister, which is saying something, the news from my latest poll, conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, is surprisingly mixed for Theresa May. Though she would probably say this is a side issue and she is focused on other things, her personal standing among voters is actually consolidated. She now leads Jeremy Corbyn by 15 points in the best Prime Minister stakes, and while “not sure” still leads the field over both leaders, the proportion naming Mrs. May has risen while Mr. Corbyn’s numbers have fallen, most dramatically among his own voters.

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‘I was like, we have to pick between these two? But honestly, I’m kind of pleasantly surprised’: my final pre-midterm focus groups in California

By Lord Ashcroft

The final round of our American research tour takes us to two districts in California, one in prosperous Orange County, and another further north around the city of Fresno. This is usually thought of as a heavily Democratic state, but the Republicans are defending crucial districts here that could decide whether they keep control of Congress this week. These include districts which elected Republican Congressmen two years ago but chose Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump for President – how they choose this time will help determine the balance of power in Washington.

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New Ashcroft in America podcast – California

By Lord Ashcroft

In the last of my series of pre-midterm podcasts, voters in key districts in California discuss the latest political developments and consider their voting decisions in the elections that will determine the balance of power in Washington.

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Ashcroft in America podcast: my interviews with Bob Shrum and Reed Galen

By Lord Ashcroft

In the latest edition of the Ashcroft in America podcast I interview campaigning legend Bob Shrum about the future of the Democrats, how Hillary could have won, and his time working in British politics – and Reed Galen, who once worked for President Bush, John McCain and Arnold Schwarzenegger but now helps run the Serve America Movement, which is aiming to end two-party dominance in Washington.

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‘Why should I change what I think or do so I can win? What kind of win is that?’ My interview with Gov. John Kasich

By Lord Ashcroft

John Kasich is the Governor of Ohio, and won over 4 million votes in the battle to become the Republican nominee for President two years ago. He declined to endorse Donald Trump, and even decided not to attend the party’s nominating convention despite it being held in his own state. At the Governor’s Mansion in Columbus, Ohio’s capital, I asked him about his reflections on the bruising encounter that was the 2016 Republican primary.

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New Ashcroft in America podcast: my interview with John Kasich, Governor of Ohio

By Lord Ashcroft

In the latest edition of the Ashcroft in America podcast, Ohio Governor John Kasich talks to me about the bruising 2016 Republican primary, his criticisms of President Trump, the future of his party and his plans for 2020.

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