News and Insights


June 28, 2024


We had two debates this week, The Sun election showdown on Monday and the BBC debate on Wednesday night. The gambling scandal shaking up the Conservative Party dominated both debates alongside a line of questioning about taxes and immigration. Both debates were uneventful and, to reiterate what we said about the first debate a couple of weeks ago, will hardly move the needle in favour of either candidate.

IFS report – More interestingly, the Institute for Fiscal Studies published a report analysing the manifestos, accusing the two main parties of largely ignoring “the raw facts” and maintaining a “conspiracy of silence”. Given the status of the economy and public finances, both parties face the same trilemma: raise taxes by more than they promised in the manifesto, implement cuts to some areas of spending, or borrow more and let debt rise for longer than they have committed to. The more palatable one is a change of the fiscal rules (borrowing more) which will prevent the next government from cutting spending for public services and imposing more taxes.

More on the ‘supermajority’ – The Conservative Party seems to have changed its campaign strategy, focusing on highlighting the risks to democracy from a diminished opposition and large Labour majority. The Institute for Government has labelled that argument as untrue. Whilst it might be a good campaign strategy, it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny because there is little difference between an 80-seat and 200-seat majority in parliament for the British democratic system. What matters is a government’s attitude to parliamentary scrutiny.

However, the ‘supermajority’ argument is almost certainly worrying the Labour Party’s team as it may well convince some voters to veer off to the Liberal Democrats, Greens, and SNP.


One week out from election day, the Labour Party remains in a commanding lead. The latest poll shows the Conservatives with a cripplingly low share of the vote, and Reform, the Liberal Democrats, and the Greens are all enjoying numbers that could see them gain seats.

There are a few key constituencies to watch. A potential win for Nigel Farage in Clacton could mean that Reform can damage the Conservatives well beyond this election. Elsewhere, Bristol Central could see a Green win over Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Thangam Debbonaire, while Croydon South remains practically neck and neck between the Conservatives and Labour.

Compounding the challenge for the Conservatives is the tactical campaigning that is being deployed in the final week by the Liberal Democrats and Labour. Though not a formal pact, publicly available data suggests that both parties are moving activists away from seats where they are directly competing with each other to where they believe they can unseat Conservative incumbents. The Conservative Party is now focusing its campaigning efforts where it enjoys a strong majority, signalling that it is giving up on the more contested seats.





  • Labour will reportedly create a new Office for Net Zero if elected. It remains to be seen how the new office will work with the existing Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, but the Labour energy team continues to add commitments to their net zero plan – amid recent criticism on the viability of their plan to decarbonise the grid by 2030.


  • How deepfake AI could swing the election. Channel 4’s Dispatches set up an experiment to ‘sway’ undecided voters using AI-generated fake material. Using generative AI, the team created a series of videos in which they replaced the real Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer with deep-fake versions, revealing how disinformation could jeopardise the entire democratic process.

According to the Centre for Long-Term Resilience (CLTR), as reported in The Guardian, “the next government should create a system for logging incidents involving AI in public services” and “consider building a central hub for collating AI-related episodes across the UK”. CLTR has urged the UK government to, “follow the example of industries where safety is a critical issue, such as in aviation and medicine,” and introduce a thorough incident reporting regime.

TAGS: Professional Services

POSTED BY: Carolina Gasparoli

Carolina Gasparoli