My pride at working for our military veterans over the past six years

By Lord Ashcroft

First published on 15 May 2018 on ConservativeHome.com

I have announced today that, after nearly six years in the role, I am stepping down as the Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Veterans’ Transition.

It has been a privilege to serve under the last two Conservative Party leaders as I worked with all stakeholders to ensure military personnel receive the support they need when making the transition to civilian life. (more…)

My visit to the Donbass, Europe’s forgotten war

By Lord Ashcroft

First published on 25 April 2018 on ConservativeHome.com

AS the reverberations of the Skripal affair continue, I have been to eastern Ukraine to see the effect of Russia’s territorial ambitions on states the Kremlin considers to be part of its sphere of influence.

This is Europe’s forgotten war, between Russian-backed separatists in the Donbass and the Ukrainian government, which is determined to preserve sovereignty over the region. (more…)

You can guess what people think, or you can find out – why polling is a force for good

By Lord Ashcroft

First published on 21 April 2018 in India’s Sunday Guardian

It’s been a bumpy few years for the pollsters. Surveys overestimated support for Angela Merkel’s party in last September’s German elections, having correctly identified Emmanuel Macron as the front runner in a competitive field in France earlier in the year. In the last two national contests in the UK, most pollsters expected a knife-edge result in 2015 and a comfortable Conservative victory in 2017, but got precisely the reverse. Before our 2016 referendum most surveys suggested the country would vote to remain in the European Union, and a few months later many received a second shock with the election of President Donald Trump.

Read more …

Brexit Britain won’t forget its old friends

By Lord Ashcroft

First published on 17 April 2018 in The Times Of Malta

Britain’s friendship with Malta is so long and so rich that it would be easy to take for granted. The award of the George Cross in 1942 by King George VI to bear witness to the nation’s “heroism and devotion” following the second siege of Malta is only the best-known episode in a story that spans the centuries: the joint enterprise of ridding Malta of the French garrison in 1800, the islands’ part in the British Empire, their crucial role as a supply station in the First World War, their valiant endurance against the Axis powers in the Second, their long service as the home of the British Mediterranean Fleet, and accession to the Commonwealth on gaining independence in 1964 are testament to a true partnership. (more…)

Do not doubt Donald Trump – he could easily be re-elected

By Lord Ashcroft

This piece was initially published at TIME.com

If in November 2020 we are looking back on how Donald J. Trump came to be re-elected as President of the United States, those undergoing a second round of horror and dismay will find themselves reflecting on how seriously, and how often, they underestimated their foe.

The left has history when it comes to looking down on, and therefore underrating, its opponents. Ronald Reagan was derided as a genial but bumbling movie actor but was elected twice to govern both his state and his country. As was George W. Bush, who seemed to inspire a kind of hysterical contempt in his adversaries: Haha, he’s so stupid. He says words like “misunderestimate.” Oh, he’s beaten us. Again.

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‘We didn’t elect him to be a saint, we elected him to be a leader’: my latest American focus groups

By Lord Ashcroft

Last December the voters of Alabama did something they had not done for twenty-seven years – they elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate. The extraordinary result prompted some to wonder whether the political tide could be turning, even in the Republican strongholds of the South. Last week I held focus groups in two neighbouring states, Tennessee and Mississippi, to take the temperature in the region, and to assess the current mood of American voters, especially those who had put Donald Trump in the White House.

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Ashcroft In America podcast: Tennessee & Mississippi

By Lord Ashcroft

Voters in Tennessee and Mississippi discuss Trump, Russia, North Korea, tariffs, flags, guns and Stormy Daniels, Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen predicts a ‘blue tsunami’ in November, and I interview Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant.

Listen to PodCast …

Capital Punishment? The Conservatives and the 2018 London elections

By Lord Ashcroft

The local government elections on 3 May 2018 will be the first big test of voters’ opinion since they deprived the Conservatives of their majority in parliament last June. Among the most closely watched results from the authorities across Britain will be those from the 32 London boroughs.

Ten of these are currently under Conservative control, including the party’s two local government flagships: Westminster, run by the Tories since its creation in 1965, and Wandsworth, in Tory hands since 1978, even though, during the Blair years, all three of the borough’s MPs were Labour.

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High taxes and shambles of the loony Left are a distant memory for London voters

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in the Evening Standard on Monday, 05 March 2018

Though neck and neck with Labour in national polls, the  political picture looks pretty grim for Conservatives in London. My latest research, published today, finds just a quarter of London voters, and only six in ten Tories, saying they approve of the Government’s record.

Londoners gave Mrs May an average performance score of 35 out of 100, compared to 47 for Jeremy Corbyn and 53 for Sadiq Khan, who topped our table. Some admired her stoicism, but she tended to arouse sympathy rather than anything more positive (“I’m surprised she hasn’t had a nervous breakdown,” as one of our focus group participants put it). And those were the charitable views. (more…)

Why today is such an important milestone

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in the Daily Mail on Monday, 05 February 2018.

Today is a landmark occasion for the people of Scotland as their Government launches a national campaign against a “silent killer”: sepsis.

I applaud the Scottish Government’s decision to begin raising awareness of the dangers of sepsis because it will undoubtedly save hundreds of lives in the future.

Furthermore, I congratulate those, particularly the Scottish Daily Mail, who lobbied so passionately and effectively against people who claimed that a new campaign was unnecessary. (more…)