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  • Them and Us: How Immigrants and Locals Can Thrive Together

    Keep “Them” out. Take back control. Build that wall. The heated debate about immigration is often framed as ‘Them’ (bad immigrants) against ‘Us’ (good locals). But immigrants aren’t a burden or a threat – and if we make the right choices we all can thrive together.

    It’s time to close the gap between myth and reality – and, in the process, close the gap between ‘Them’ and ‘Us’. OUT on 15 OCTOBER

  • European Spring.. Why Our Economies and Politics are in a Mess – and How to Put Them Right

    Britain and the rest of Europe are in a mess. Our economies are failing to deliver higher living standards for most people – and many have lost faith in politicians’ ability to deliver a brighter future, with support for parties like UKIP soaring. Are stagnation, decline and disillusionment inevitable?

  • Aftershock: Reshaping the World Economy After the Crisis — out now

    The financial crisis brought the world to the brink of economic breakdown. But now bankers’ bonuses are back, house prices are rising again and politicians promise recovery – all this while unemployment remains high, debts mount, frictions with China grow and the planet overheats.
    Is this really sustainable – or do we need to change course?


President Macron’s election has created new hope that the eurozone can be fixed. But the optimism is exaggerated, and things might even end up worse off. My column for Brussels Times set out how to actually fix the eurozone.

Posted 12 Jul 2017 in Blog

My column for CapX

Posted 12 Jul 2017 in Blog

My letter to the FT

Posted 12 Jul 2017 in Blog

I was interviewed about immigration, refugees and Portugal’s economic situation by Rádio Renascença at the Estoril Conference. Also watch the video clip

Posted 03 Jul 2017 in Blog

My latest column for Foreign Policy

Posted 13 Jun 2017 in Blog

I posted the following thread on Twitter earlier.

While some voted Labour cos they wanted Corbyn to win, many did so cos they thought he couldn’t. Doubt he cd win election except by accident

2. Clearly, some in UK r hard left. Many r fed up with austerity. Corbyn mobilised students & some who feel left behind. But..

3. Many also voted Labour cos moderate Labour MPs reassured them Corbyn couldn’t win. Others wanted to deny Theresa May a landslide…

4. In Kensington & elsewhere, rich Remainers who r hardly socialist felt safe to reject May’s hard Brexit. Cosmopolitans rejected nativism.

5. & many other reasons. Many voters would behave differently if they expected Corbyn as PM rather than May (or her successor). Ends

Apart from insults and trolling, the main response was “what is your evidence for this?”. It’s my analysis, and like any analysis it may be partly or wholly wrong, but let me amplify a bit and add some evidence to substantiate it.

It’s clear that very few people expected Labour to win the election – only 12% did, according to a Survation poll just before the election – and Labour indeed didn’t win. That was the frame in which people decided to vote Labour: while some genuinely wanted Corbyn to be PM, those who didn’t want him as PM still felt safe to vote Labour for all sorts of reasons, local (eg they liked their moderate Labour MP), tactical (eg they wanted to deny the Conservatives a big majority), protest (eg they opposed May’s Brexit at any costs) or otherwise. Anyone who thinks that Kensington, one of the wealthiest constituencies in the country, has suddenly gone socialist is certifiable.

Many Labour MPs and canvassers reported negative feelings towards Corbyn on the doorstep and explicitly tried to reassure voters that it was safe to vote for them because Corbyn couldn’t win. Some went as far as writing to their constituents to that effect. See, for instance, this reporting piece in the Guardian (which backed a vote for Labour).

Many people were put off by the choice between a hard-Brexit Conservative Party and a hard-left Labour Party, while the Lib Dems are still discredited by their time in coalition. YouGov’s focus-group findings are particularly telling:

Participants believed that both of the two main parties have entrenched political stances that are further to the right and left than in previous years, and there are perceived to be few options in the middle for those who see themselves as politically centrist. For these participants, the choice for whom to vote is unclear, as they feel ideologically separated from both Labour and the Conservatives. Related to this, many participants were considering tactical voting. Some had a stronger sense of the party they did not want to be in power than the one that they did. Related to a need for more choice, there was both a strong appetite and expectation for a new centrist party to emerge after the election, with France’s En Marche party an example of how this could be successfully achieved.


While Corbyn clearly appealed to some voters who might otherwise not have voted Labour, notably students, there is ample evidence that he was net negative for Labour. YouGov, whose model predicted seemingly unlikely results such as Labour winning Canterbury, found that only 34% of voters thought Corbyn was competent and 31% strong (although 49% found him honest and 46% likeable). Survation – whose final poll had the Conservatives on 42% and Labour on 40%, almost the same as the actual result – found only 81% of those intending to vote Labour thought Corbyn would make the best PM.

Now, of course, nobody can know for sure how a future election might pan out. But a coalition of convenience around Corbyn on the basis that he couldn’t win is unlikely to translate into an actual parliamentary majority in an election where voters think he could win. Indeed, so squeezed is the vote for the smaller parties that even if Corbyn could somehow hang on to that disparate coalition of convenience, the only way he can get a majority is by winning votes off the Tories. Good luck with that.

UPDATE on 12/6

A new poll for Survation after the election puts Labour ahead of the Conservatives by 45% to 39%. Does this contradict my thesis? No. What people say in a poll immediately after an election when nothing is at stake tells you very little about how they will vote in a future election when there is a lot at stake for them. For instance, in June 1979, just after Margaret Thatcher won the election, polls put Labour ahead. The test of my thesis is the next election.

Posted 10 Jun 2017 in Blog

My latest column for CapX

Posted 06 Jun 2017 in Blog

Celebrate Emmanuel Macron’s victory, but beware of pitfalls ahead. Populism is far from dead. My latest column for Project Syndicate

Posted 11 May 2017 in Blog

I was interviewed by Colm Ó Mongáin on RTE’s This Week about the French election. Listen here. (Starts at 12:30)

Posted 07 May 2017 in Blog

I was interviewed about the French presidential election in the Spanish newspaper La Razón by Angel Nieto. Read it here.

Posted 07 May 2017 in Blog

My pre-election piece (in Swedish) on Emmanuel Macron and what’s at stake in the French presidential election for SvD.

Posted 07 May 2017 in Blog

“It’s a pity that Theresa May has a chance to re-think immigration policy and she is falling back on a tried and tested failure,” I said, on Theresa May’s decision to keep the UK’s absurd net migration target, which she repeatedly missed during her six years as Home Secretary.

Read the piece here.

Posted 21 Apr 2017 in Blog

Theresa May is likely to win the UK’s snap election on 8 June. A big parliamentary majority and not having to face voters again until 2022 could give her more flexibility in negotiating and implementing Brexit. But contrary to what she claims, that wouldn’t strengthen her negotiating position vis-a-vis the EU; if anything, it would weaken it.

With politics so unpredictable these days, there is also a risk that she will do less well than expected.

And May is taking a much bigger gamble with the survival of the UK. She can scarcely deny Scots a vote on independence before knowing the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, since she is now asking Britons to vote in similar circumstances. With many Scots leery of being dragged into a hard Brexit by a Conservative UK government in thrall to English nationalism, the (emotional) case for Scottish independence could be compelling, as I argue in my latest column for Project Syndicate.

Posted 20 Apr 2017 in Blog

I was interviewed about the French elections by Spanish newspaper La Razón. Read it here

Posted 14 Apr 2017 in Blog

What future for post-Brexit Britain? My piece for Aspen Institute Italia

Posted 29 Mar 2017 in Blog

Alexandros Moutzouridis interviewed me on the crisis in Greece and the future of Europe for To Choni newspaper. Read it here

Posted 26 Mar 2017 in Blog

Far-right populists pose a grave threat to Europe’s open liberal societies. Here’s how to defeat them. My column for Project Syndicate

Posted 25 Mar 2017 in Blog

Read here.

Posted 20 Mar 2017 in Blog

I have evidence to the House of Lords’ Economic Affairs committee on what a post-Brexit immigration system should look like. Watch it here.

My testimony was quoted in The Sun and the Express.

The BBC posted a clip of me explaining why immigration tends to boost GDP per capita.

Posted 23 Feb 2017 in Blog

I was interviewed by Michael Cottakis of the 1989 Generation Initiative for Euractiv

Posted 04 Feb 2017 in Blog