General election 2019: Who’s listening to the Liberals?

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Image caption The TV debate format has put Jo Swinson on the defensive

Liberal Democrats have produced a meaty set of policy proposals in their manifesto. The question for them in this election campaign remains: Is anyone listening?

The dynamics of the campaign have given Jo Swinson less opportunity to match the two lead contenders for occupancy of 10 Downing Street.

One or two-dimensional messaging on nightly news programmes has left her only the opportunity to sound strident about being against Brexit.

It's been acknowledged that starting the campaign with talk of Ms Swinson being prime minister failed the credibility test. It has become, perhaps literally, a self-defeating assertion.

On those TV occasions the Lib Dem leader has had the opportunity to talk at greater length, the format has put her on the defensive about the 2010-15 coalition led by David Cameron with Nick Clegg.

Pinned down

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General Election 2019: Big changes ahead for UK railways

  • 3 December 2019
  • From the section Scotland
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It's a brave politician who rips up rail fares 10 days out from a general election. If there's one thing we've learned from a quarter century of franchising and private provision, nothing about running British trains is simple.

But with the Labour Party now pledging a third off rail fares in England, a giveaway is something simple that voters can understand and might like. It comes at a high cost, of course, and the formula for funding Holyrood would mean a dollop of additional moola in the block grant for MSPs to use as they choose.

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General Election 2019: Do firms have purpose beyond profit?

  • 30 November 2019
  • From the section Scotland
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The election campaign has brought back a big debate about the reach of the state into the economy and ownership of companies.

Labour wants to nationalise rail, mail, energy supply, English water companies and broadband. It wants the state to become a manufacturer of medicines.

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Ballot Briefing: the SNP looks over the horizon

  • 27 November 2019
  • From the section Scotland
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These elections used to be awkward for the SNP. Westminster wasn't its home turf. It wasn't seen to be a player.

It could hope to return a handful of MPs, while Labour won a landslide and steam-rollered its Scottish rivals across the central belt.

Read full article Ballot Briefing: the SNP looks over the horizon

General election 2019: How Labour plans would affect Scotland

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Labour's election manifesto is titled "Real Change". It's a description on which everyone can agree.

This is not the only set of options at this election to undermine the cynical non-voters' assertion that "they're all the same". If it were to implement its manifesto, a majority Labour government would make Britain look and feel very different.

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Labour's £100bn pledge for Scotland

Richard Leonard and Jeremy Corbyn Image copyright PA Media

In a crowded field for big spending promises, a Corbyn-led Labour was always going to want to be the one that had the biggest bazooka.

So, while the Lib Dems talk of a £50bn dividend from not leaving the EU, Labour has gone for clear red water between its offer and that of its rivals.

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Business can't vote, but it's got a voice

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Image caption PM Johnson was one of the leaders speaking to CBI members

With election manifesto proofs now at the printers, it's a bit late to be trying to influence their contents. But that doesn't stop lobbyists from lobbying, and business is to the front of the queue for that.

For business lobby operations, elections offer an opportunity to get politicians' attention. But having got it, there's that awkward reminder that businesses don't vote - people do.

Read full article Business can't vote, but it's got a voice

What is Scotland's attitude to immigration?

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Immigration has dropped down the list of voter priorities. They may think as they did about it, but not as strongly. It's not the same priority.

That may be because immigration numbers have dropped since the Brexit referendum. It may be because voters expect Brexit to ensure an end to the free movement of EU citizens in and out of the UK.

Read full article What is Scotland's attitude to immigration?

Could Rangers have survived?

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The question of what went wrong with the finances of Rangers Football Club is back in the Ibrox floodlights.

A claim has been published by the Times that the tax bill hanging over it was inflated by HMRC far beyond the amount that should have been charged.

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General election 2019: What would Labour's NHS pledges mean for Scotland?

Jeremy Corbyn with NHS staff Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Jeremy Corbyn has said a Labour government would outspend the Conservatives on the NHS in England

While Jeremy Corbyn has been campaigning in Scotland on Wednesday, his colleagues have been setting out health service plans in London.

Conservatives have already committed to a significant uplift in spending. Labour say they'll top that, by £6bn per year by 2023-24.

Read full article General election 2019: What would Labour's NHS pledges mean for Scotland?