Politics

After a turbulent few weeks, where do Johnson – and Starmer – really stand with the voters?

By Lord Ashcroft

This week’s local elections take place against the backdrop of leadership plots and follow perhaps the most politically turbulent few months since the Brexit wars. My new research, including an 8,000-sample poll and focus groups with 2019 Conservatives in different types of seat throughout the country, shows how voters have reacted to the recent controversies and where Boris Johnson, Keir Starmer and their parties now stand in relation to the voters.

Partygate: is it over yet?

Just under half of all voters (47%) including nearly one in five 2019 Tories, said they thought “breaking the rules is a very serious matter, and Boris Johnson should resign”. This included more than 3 in 10 (31%) of those who switched from Labour to the Conservatives at the 2019 election.

Read more …

Three reasons why Boris Johnson can survive the public’s anger at Partygate

By Lord Ashcroft

This article first appeared in the Mail on Sunday.

Looking at my latest polling it is easy to see why many believe Boris Johnson’s Downing Street days are numbered.

My new 8,000-sample survey shows the opposition ahead not just on traditional Labour issues like the NHS and public services, but on supposedly Tory territory like immigration and crime. Voters say they are more inclined to trust Labour to run the economy.

Read more … 

For now, Russia backs Putin and the invasion – but younger people are sceptical of the Kremlin line

By Lord Ashcroft

Two weeks ago I published survey in Ukraine that showed the determination of its population to defend their country and their view that Britain was doing more than most allies to help.

My latest poll, conducted by telephone in Russia from a neighbouring state, comes with two obvious caveats.

Read more …

Life Support – book launch speech

By Lord Ashcroft

Speech made on 09 March 2022.

Watch the speech made by Lord Ashcroft at the official launch of the book he wrote with Isabel Oakeshott, Life Support: The state of the NHS in an age of pandemics, on 09 March 2022.

Get your copy of Life Support here … 

My new book on the NHS – and what the voters really think about their favourite institution

By Lord Ashcroft

My new book, published tomorrow, could be my most controversial yet.

No, not that one. I mean Life Support: The State of the NHS in an Age of Pandemics. In it, my co-author Isabel Oakeshott and I ask hard questions about how good the National Health Service really is, and what needs to change if it is to offer the consistently high quality of care that patients and taxpayers deserve.

Read more …

Billions gobbled up by the NHS should be spent on making us all healthier… not fixing us.

By Lord Ashcroft

Serialised in The Mail on Sunday on 06 March 2022.

Final extract from LORD ASHCROFT and ISABEL OAKESHOTT’s new book prescribes the real cure for the health service’s woes.

The first part of our serialisation last week of an authoritative new book explained how radical reform – not yet more taxpayers’ billions – was the only way to tackle the NHS’s gross inefficiencies. Today, the final extract sets out why there needs to be a revolution in the way we think about – and treat – the nation’s health…   

The biggest NHS conference of the year is a two-day trade extravaganza for health policy luminaries celebrating ‘innovation, enterprise and collaboration’. The best entertainment usually takes place in the buzzing exhibition hall, where, at the event in 2019, a dishevelled-looking man with a long ginger beard was strumming a ukulele. (more…)

Ukrainians want to stay and fight, but don’t see Russian people as the enemy. A remarkable poll from Kyiv

By Lord Ashcroft

We have all seen the extraordinary bravery and spirit with which the people of Ukraine have responded to Putin’s brutal invasion. The results of a survey which, somewhat to my astonishment, a research firm in Kyiv was able to conduct for Lord Ashcroft Polls in the past few days only add to my admiration.

You might think an opinion survey is a rather trivial distraction given the magnitude of events that are unfolding. If so, let me say that our partners in Kyiv were pleased to have the work and – most importantly – the chance to show the world something of what Ukrainians are thinking and feeling as they defend their country.

Read more …

The unvarnished truth of the NHS

By Lord Ashcroft

Serialised in the Mail on Sunday on 27 February 2022.

Authoritative new book by LORD ASHCROFT and ISABEL OAKESHOTT says our health service is riven with gross inefficiency and the only way to save it is radical reform – not yet more billions.

Last summer, the NHS was awarded the George Cross by the Queen. In a handwritten personal message, she said: ‘Over more than seven decades, and especially in recent times, you have supported the people of our country with courage, compassion and dedication, demonstrating the highest standards of public service.’ (more…)

Is this the gaze that shows 24-year-old Carrie always had her eye on Boris?

By Lord Ashcroft

Serialised in The Mail on Sunday on 13 February 2022.

Unseen photo from six years before they met speaks a thousand words as LORD ASHCROFT’s explosive biography charts her journey to Number 10.

  • Tory sources baffled by aspects of Carrie Symonds’s 30th birthday party  
  • In particular the presence of senior Cabinet Ministers, including Boris Johnson
  • Just weeks before event, Brandon Lewis had been appointed party chairman

As the sound of the hostess’s favourite band Abba belted out of the music system, the drink flowed and the guests danced until the small hours. (more…)

If the PM has let his home life interfere with duty, he only has himself to blame

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in The Mail on Sunday on 13 February 2022.

My book about Carrie Johnson, serialised for the first time in last week’s Mail on Sunday, has generated plenty of comment and speculation.

I feel it is important to address a few of the points that have arisen in recent days in order to offer a sense of perspective.

The first is to emphasise my purpose in writing the book. (more…)