Politics

88: Dead Heat

The breathless excitement of the local elections. Millions of votes, thousands of candidates, almost no changes.

We analyse the results, and ask if Labour’s showing any signs of being close to winning power.

Will the Lib Dems build from this year’s gains? And why did a leading UKIP figure compare the party to the plague?

Plus the continuing fall-out from Amber Rudd’s resignation — we ask if voters are partly to blame for politicians’ struggle with immigration.

87: I want to be elected

A special podcast looking ahead to next week’s local elections. London is the focus, with Labour hoping to make big gains there. We report from one Labour target — the Tory flagship of Wandsworth.

Journalist Martin Hoscik explains why he thinks the Conservatives are struggling so much in London, and Robert Meakin joins Paul Osbourne to discuss the races to keep an eye on.

Plus we head to Cheltenham to find out why anyone would even want to be a local councillor. Victoria Atherstone has bit the bullet, and is running for the first time. She explains why, what it’s like to spend your evenings knocking on doors, and how far she wants to go.

On election night, Paul will be on BBC Radio London looking over the results in the capital - and we’ll assess the results in the next podcast. 

86: Westminster's Useless Idiot

With a military response to the apparent chemical attack in Syria looking increasingly inevitable, we consider the role of Britain’s chief diplomat — Boris Johnson. Having blundered over Salisbury, how will he cope with this international crisis?

Jeremy Corbyn’s bad month continues, as Tony Blair returns to Belfast with Bill Clinton, 20 years after sealing the Good Friday Agreement.

We look at the prospects for a new centrist party (spoiler: not great), and find out which party’s chosen a candidate for the local elections who’s on the record as rather passionately disliking the community he now seeks to represent.

85: Wilfully Blind

Jeremy Corbyn manages to blunder into yet another anti-Semitism row. We explore why the Labour leader seems incapable of confronting this toxic issue.

He found it far easier to deal with Owen Smith, but with three-quarters of Labour members apparently backing a second EU referendum, was sacking him the right move?

With a year left until Brexit, is it finally time for its most fervent opponents to admit the referendum result can't be undone?

And we find out about the political party that wants to end crime by making children write out 100 lines.

84: Spies, lies and copper coins

Britain talks tough with Russia after the nerve agent attack in Salisbury. In the latest podcast, Paul Osbourne and Robert Meakin assess Theresa May’s response, and Jeremy Corbyn’s curious reluctance to “poke the Russian bear”.

Is John Bercow a bully? As the Commons Speaker faces new allegations, we look at what needs to happen to make Parliament a better place to work.

Plus we hear from one of the founders of new political party Renew, set up on a promise to stop Brexit at all costs — but is it a bit over-the-top to call Britain the next global conflict zone?

Plus Downing Street slaps down the penny-pinching Chancellor over his suggestion of scrapping the 1 and 2-pence coins — we wonder if wasn’t perhaps a rather good idea.

All that, plus we have a new theme tune — let us know what you think at twitter.com/partygamespod or facebook.com/partygamespod