Matt Singh, CapX

Matt Singh


United Kingdom

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  • CapX
  • Bloomberg
  • Prospect Magazine
  • The Fabian Society

Recent articles by Matt:

Will 'blue on blue' attacks truly damage the Tory brand? History suggests otherwise...

As the Conservative Party’s leadership race moves from a succession of MP ballots to the membership voting, a major talking point has been the potential damage to the Tory brand of the contest itself. Are the ‘blue on blue’ rows really undermining the party, or are they just another distraction from the real issues of […] → Read More

Where did it all go wrong for Boris?

Among the many talking points arising from Boris Johnson’s downfall has been how history will view his premiership. There are of course many components to this, but one thing that future students of history may wonder is how it all unravelled so quickly. For his MPs, the Pincher affair was the final straw, but the […] → Read More

Hammered in Honiton, whacked in Wakefield... how bad is it for the Tories?

It is rare for by-elections to provide original insights. More commonly, they whip Westminster into a frenzy of bad takes regarding highly atypical contests in whichever constituencies happen to be vacant. But occasionally, they do point to something significant. The results from Wakefield in West Yorkshire, and from Tiverton and Honiton in Devon, have already […] → Read More

Will Ukraine save Boris from Partygate?

It’s official – the Met Police have handed out 20 fines to Downing Street staff, confirming that they believe that lockdown laws were broken in the heart of government. Back in December, I wrote on these pages about then breaking Partygate story and the risks it posed to Boris Johnson and his government. With so […] → Read More

Yule be sorry? There's no escaping the risk Partygate poses to Johnson and his government

The furore over the Downing Street Christmas Party raises many questions, but one of them – inevitably – is what impact it might have on public opinion. Partygate is clearly bigger than the average political story, but where does it sit on the five stages of cut through? Well, getting the lead on the evening […] → Read More

What Boris Johnson Can Learn from Britain's Greens

Brits have grown increasingly supportive of policies to fight climate change. A new poll suggests voters are even willing to pay more for them. → Read More

The shape of political realignment? How to read the results on Super Thursday

Welcome to Super Thursday. Thanks to pandemic delays, today sees an unusual confluence of electoral contests, likely to produce a wide range of results and competing political narratives. The Scottish Parliament election will of course matter hugely, due to its constitutional implications. Wales, in addition to mattering in its own right, has several Senedd constituencies […] → Read More

Did this election really 'blow up' the polling industry?

The results of the US Presidential election are still being counted, but one talking point among many has been the accuracy of the polls. The post-mortem can’t begin until the votes are counted and we know the ‘right’ answers, but we can already cut through the noise and hot takes, some of which border on … → Read More

Does appealing to the Red Wall mean losing BME votes?

Since Labour’s election catastrophe, in which many of its traditional voters deserted the party, there’s been a recurring discussion about how the party should position itself on cultural issues. In the Corbyn era those of us who talked about how far the party had diverged from public opinion were often greeted with anger simply for … → Read More

Is there an anti-woke vote?

After a few months of everything being dominated by covid-19, talk of culture wars is back. Laurence Fox has announced plans for a new “reclaim” party, while Katy Balls reports in the i that a number of Conservative MPs want to fight the next election on a similar basis. It’s not hard to grasp this … → Read More

Can betting markets tell us something the polls don't?

With just two months to go until the US presidential election, there is an interesting divergence between pollsters and punters on the state of the race. Polling averages generally show Joe Biden with a clear lead, in the high single digits, whereas the betting is pretty much even between him and Donald Trump. Why might … → Read More

Keir Starmer Is Hitting the Right Patriotic Notes

The Labour leader’s attacks on Johnson’s competence and his more centrist stances on cultural issues have narrowed the polling gap. → Read More

Did England’s World Cup defeat win the 1970 election for the Tories?

Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the 1970 UK general election. Despite Harold Wilson’s optimism having called the election, and Labour poll leads throughout the campaign, (averaging four points in the final polls), when the votes were counted, it was Ted Heath’s Conservatives that swept to victory. When the unexpected happens, a popular reaction is … → Read More

Why polling the views of ethnic minorities is so difficult

The recent tragic events in the United States, and the reaction worldwide, have seen matters of race and racism come to the fore in a way that they have not for some time. Polling is already available on what the British public as a whole think about it, but measuring opinion specifically among ethnic minorities … → Read More

Dominic Cummings, voting intention and the 'five stages of cut-through'

Whenever a political story takes off in or around Westminster, people start talking about “cut-through”. In other words, is this the talk of the bubble reaching people who aren’t political obsessives? In most cases the answer is no – Westminster stories usually barely make it onto the public’s radar. That may sound obvious, but the … → Read More

How far up Labour's electoral mountain is Keir Starmer?

Labour’s heavy defeat at the 2019 general election was frequently characterised as leaving the party “with a mountain to climb”. And as I’e noted previously, since December the mountain has become even bigger than the 123 seat gains compared with that result, that the party would need for a one-seat overall majority next time round. … → Read More

How long will Johnson's 'rally round the flag' moment last?

Right now the coronavirus crisis is taking over just about everything, becoming the main story across a huge range of subject areas, including turning politics on its head across a lot of the Western world. In the UK last week, polling from Number Cruncher gave the Conservatives their biggest lead while in government (26 points) … → Read More

What do the public really think about coronavirus?

A matter of weeks ago, there was only one story in town: Brexit dominated everything. Now, the same is true once again, but with all eyes focused on the coronavirus outbreak. In fact, the global pandemic has reached a level of salience unprecedented in Britain. The weekly “Top Ten Most Noticed” poll from Populus asks … → Read More

Storms in a teacup – why it’s harder for businesses to stay out of politics

If you wanted to sum up the increasingly unhinged nature of political “debate” in one sentence, it would be the one tweeted last week by Yorkshire Tea’s official account: “Sue, you’re shouting at tea“. As amusing as the suggestion that a tea manufacturer gets to decide who consumes their product is, it raises a serious … → Read More

It's Labour's turn to wake up and smell the coffee

After the Conservatives suffered their third consecutive election defeat in 2005, Lord Ashcroft wrote a report entitled “Smell the Coffee: A wake-up call for the Conservative Party”, which illustrated how the Tories were then seen as out-of-touch, lagging behind New Labour on economic competence, and associated more with the past than with opportunity. Fifteen years … → Read More