The new political landscape – and what Britain expects from Brexit

My latest research is a comprehensive survey of the political landscape as Britain embarks on two years of negotiations over the terms on which it will leave the European Union. Based on a 10,000-sample poll and focus groups around the country, the project asks what voters hope and expect to get from the Brexit deal, how they balance immigration control and access to the single market, the status of EU nationals already in Britain, people’s confidence that the Prime Minister will secure a good deal, and how the Brexit negotiations compare in importance to other priorities.

The research also looks in detail at attitudes to the political parties and leaders, who is switching, and why.

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Lord Ashcroft launches new campaign to raise £500,000 for sepsis charity

Lord Ashcroft and The UK Sepsis Trust are today launching a £500,000 fund-raising campaign to raise money for the charity.

Their aim is to save lives by making more people aware of the dangers of sepsis and also its symptoms. For every £1 that is donated by others, Lord Ashcroft will match this with an identical donation of his own up to £250,000. This means that the fund-raising target for the campaign #Ashcroft4SepsisUnited is £500,000. (more…)

My new campaign to save lives through greater sepsis awareness

A year and a half ago sepsis almost claimed my life. During my 19 days in intensive care, it was repeatedly touch and go whether I lived or died.

When I was taken ill in September 2015, I was one of the vast majority of people who is blissfully unaware both of the symptoms of sepsis or quite how many lives it claims every year.

My road to a full recovery was a long and difficult one after various health complications, but I am glad to say that I eventually made it to my own 70th birthday party in March last year and I have managed to clock up another birthday since then. (more…)

See the April edition of Britain at War for Lord Ashcroft’s new bravery article

Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC has had his latest “hero of the month” article published in Britain at War, the country’s best-selling military history monthly magazine.

The April issue of the magazine has a two-page write-up on the life and bravery of Wing Commander Frederick William Palmer, who was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for outstanding bravery during the Great War. (more…)

My online interview with Dame Vera Lynn, on the cusp of her hundredth birthday

Dame Vera Lynn, the so-called “Forces’ Sweetheart” from the Second World War, is 100 years old on Monday (March 20). For nearly eight decades, she has enjoyed fame as a singer, songwriter and actress.

During the 1939-45 conflict, she toured Egypt, India and Burma for the Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA). Her most popular songs have included We’ll Meet Again, The White Cliffs of Dover and There’ll Always Be an England.

Her wartime popularity led to an astonishing career and in 2009, aged 92, she became the oldest living artist to top the UK Albums’ Chart. Her charity work has gone hand in hand with her career: she has worked with ex-servicemen, disabled children and breast cancer sufferers. (more…)

Eight keys to understanding the Trump administration

This article was first published at on 09 March 2017.

One day, President Donald Trump speaks in a presidential tone at an address to Congress; four days later, he launches a pre-dawn Twitter blitz to accuse his predecessor of bugging his New York base during the election campaign, with no apparent evidence.

If you are feeling discombobulated by the new order, help is at hand. Over the last six months, I have polled some forty thousand Americans and spoken to voters across the country for my Ashcroft in America research. The findings give us some clues as to what is happening and what to look out for.

Read more …

See the March edition of Britain at War for Lord Ashcroft’s new bravery article

Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC has had his latest “hero of the month” article published in Britain at War, the country’s best-selling military history monthly magazine.

The March issue of the magazine has a two-page write-up on the life and bravery of Commander Loftus William Jones, who was awarded the VC for outstanding bravery during the Great War. (more…)

Protesting against the state visit does Britain no favours, and Trump no harm

First published on on 1st March 2017.

Last week, thousands of people took to the streets of London and other British cities in opposition to President Trump’s planned state visit to the UK. The weekend was rounded off with a predictable burst of celebrity sniping against Trump at the Oscars. No doubt this made everyone concerned feel better. But there are perhaps two things above all that reassure Trump voters that they made the right decision in November: squealing Hollywood liberals and noisy protesters – especially abroad.

This ought to be obvious to anyone who knows anything about voters of any kind, let alone American ones, but if not, my research last month confirmed it. “I’m tired of hearing what Hollywood has to say and what we should be thinking,” a Trump voter told us in Macomb County, Michigan – one of the places that switched from Obama in 2012. “I look at them as the carnival folk. They have their sheltered little lives in Hollywood where they live in gated communities, they really don’t live in the real world… And that’s another reason I liked Trump – he just tore Hollywood a new one.”

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Why Trump will need the art of the deal: my IDU lecture on the President’s challenges

This is the text of my presentation to the International Democrat Union Campaign Managers Meeting in Washington on 24 February 2017. It covers subjects including the reasons for President Trump’s election, voters’ views on his early weeks in office, expectations for the Trump administration, policy challenges including healthcare, and how the Democrats are reacting to defeat.

Good afternoon everyone, and thank you for inviting me. If you happened to hear my presentation in Munich last month, let me reassure you that this is an expanded and updated version, with new material.

Much of the research I am about to share is described in more detail in my book Hopes and Fears, which was published last month. I had hoped to be able to bring you each a copy, but I have to tell you that we have temporarily sold out, which goes to show just what indispensable reading it must be. You can still order it from Amazon, or direct from Biteback Publishing, and I hope you will all take the chance to help a struggling author.

Read more …

Why were these wise warnings on St Helena’s airport ignored?

First published on on 21st February 2017.

Whatever the future holds for the island of St Helena – and I hope it is a long and happy one – there is no doubt that mistakes have been made relating to its new, but massively underused, airport (pictured in the background, right).

The errors are costly ones, too: if the problems of strong and unpredictable winds really cannot be overcome, then at least £285 million of taxpayers’ money will have been squandered. Even if these “wind shear” difficulties can be successfully managed, many islanders will have suffered great financial hardship as a result of gearing up to an influx of tourists who, as yet, have never arrived.

But could, and should, the issues caused by St Helena’s unique topography have been foreseen? In the aftermath of my revelations last June about why planes were not able to land at the airport, it emerged that Brian Heywood, a former British Airways pilot, had written to David Cameron as early as August 2010 to warn him that the planned airport was in danger of being untenable. (more…)

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