Image: Getty

Even the academics don’t have a clue who will win this election

Academics gathered in London today to discuss how they predict the outcome of the most unpredictable election in living memory… Continue reading

Keep trolling the politicians, Twitter


A politician’s life on Twitter is rarely uneventful. I have written in defence of all the goodwill and positive communication… Continue reading

Jeremy Clarkson and the Political Correctness of the Right

British television BBC presenter of moto

One of the many delusions of the Right is the myth of conservative robustness. Conservatives don’t play the victim card,… Continue reading

Rupert Murdoch calls Ed Miliband out on his debate boast

Ed Miliband stands up to Rupert Murdoch

Ed Miliband used last night’s election interview with Jeremy Paxman as an opportunity to blast the Murdoch press. The Labour leader told… Continue reading

If British democracy worked, we would have had a referendum on the death penalty

Execution by guillotine in Paris during the French Revolution (Picture: Hulton Archive/Getty)

Nice to know, isn’t it, that public attitudes are finally catching up with MPs’? It seems, from the Social Attitudes… Continue reading

Everything Yes voters believe about the Scottish independence referendum is wrong (but that doesn’t matter)

Image: Getty

Say this for Alex Salmond: he is entirely typical of the movement he once led. The former First Minister’s new… Continue reading

Miliband’s performance last night vindicates the Tories’ strategy of no head-to-head debates

Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband (L) is interviewed by Jeremy Paxman of Channel 4 during the filming of  'Cameron & Miliband ; The Battle For Number 10' on March 26, 2015 in London, England.

David Cameron and Ed Miliband both ‘won’ last night’s TV Q&A session. The Prime Minister put in a decent performance and… Continue reading

America declares war on e-cigarettes. But it’s an ideological battle, not a medical one


The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have launched a wildly expensive campaign against e-cigarettes because… well, I can’t really… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: The polite pirate

Two German submarines, the U35 and U42, surface off the Mediterranean coast.   (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

From ‘News of the Week’, The Spectator, 27 March 1915: On Friday the Admiralty announced that they bad good reason… Continue reading

Listen: The Spectator’s verdict on the Cameron/Miliband Q&A

Labour leader Ed Miliband and Jeremy Paxman chat during the filming of  'Cameron & Miliband ; The Battle For Number 10' on March 26, 2015 in London, England.

According to the snap polls, David Cameron was victorious in the first TV ‘debate’ — but Ed Miliband didn’t do… Continue reading

Despite Cameron’s win, Labour will be happy with Ed Miliband’s Q&A performance

Kay Burley of Sky News, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Jeremy Paxman of Channel 4 pose ahead of the filming of  'Cameron & Miliband ; The Battle For Number 10' on March 26, 2015 in London, England.

David Cameron won tonight’s TV head to head with Ed Miliband according to an instant ICM poll. The poll for… Continue reading

As it happened: TV Q&A with David Cameron and Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband and David Cameron.

Welcome to The Spectator’s live coverage of the Q&A session with David Cameron and Ed Miliband on Channel 4 and… Continue reading

Gordon Brown laments the ‘constitutional revolution’ of his own making

Gordon Brown's Speech Proposing Further Devolution To Scotland on March 10, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Given that Gordon Brown has hardly been seen in the Commons since losing power five years ago, it was a… Continue reading

Is the era of stable government over?

London Landmarks At Night

Everyone agrees: the outcome of this election is impossible to predict. But are we witnessing the end of the stable, two-party… Continue reading

Revealed: David Cameron’s secret conversations about the next coalition


David Cameron is keen to demonstrate his willingness to give straight answers to straight questions at the moment. But there… Continue reading

Voters want visions, and powerful posters deliver them – not Twitter

A poster can make of break an election. Image: PA

If no-one was very excited about the launch of the Lib Dem’s election poster this morning, it wasn’t just because… Continue reading

Adam Boulton: David Dimbleby is a backwards step for BBC’s election coverage

(Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)

Tonight Kay Burley will moderate a ‘town hall’ style Q&A with David Cameron and Ed Miliband as part of the election debate… Continue reading

Benedict Cumberbatch reads at his distant relation Richard III’s burial (despite saying he’s not ‘part of the landed gentry’)

The Remains Of King Richard III Are Finally Laid To Rest

Benedict Cumberbatch once complained that ‘posh-bashing’ had got so bad in Britain that he was contemplating a move to America. Cumberbatch, who… Continue reading

After the Germanwings disaster, do airplanes need to have three pilots onboard?

Thomas Winkelmann (L), Managing Director of Germanwings, a Lufthansa subsidiary, and Carsten Spohr, Chairman of German airline Lufthansa, speak to the media following the latest developments in the investigation into the crash of Germanwings flight 4U9525 in southern France on March 26, 2015 in Cologne, Germany.

As soon as I heard the French prosecutor reveal that the co-pilot of the Germanwings jet appears deliberately to have… Continue reading

It’s time for John Bercow to hang up his gown

Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

There was a time when both MPs and viewers of Prime Minister’s Question Time would welcome an interjection from the… Continue reading

Today’s reburial wasn’t about Richard III. It was about Benedict Cumberbatch


We should have known it. Today’s reburial isn’t about Richard III. It’s about Benedict Cumberbatch. Isn’t everything these days, somehow… Continue reading

Vince Cable shows how the Lib Dems plan to squeeze the Tories on Europe

Vince Cable

Vince Cable has made some ambiguous comments in the chamber this morning about an EU referendum. At the last business… Continue reading

‘The noes have it’: Government loses bid to topple John Bercow


More crying in the Commons. More applause. John Bercow didn’t try to hide his tears as it became apparent that… Continue reading

Charles Walker: I have been played for a fool

Charles Walker

The Commons has gone beyond uproar on the vote on the secret ballot to re-elect the speaker. There has been… Continue reading

How did the Liberal Democrat cross the road?


The Liberal Democrats have unveiled their funky new campaign poster this morning, only to unceremoniously dump it on a yellow… Continue reading

Parliament finishes in uproar over Speaker vote

Image: Getty

Well, after months of Parliament appearing boring, tired and without things to discuss, the zombie seems to have woken up.… Continue reading

5 key ways the next government can deliver on its campaign promises

The Conservative Party Annual Conference Continues In Birmingham

Every government comes to power eager to deliver on its manifesto pledges and policy ideas. Yet our polling shows that just… Continue reading

Convince a generation that Ukip resemble the Nazis and you can make them do anything

Ukip Leader Nigel Farage Fails To Turn Up At Rally

There was something genuinely frightening about the disturbance aimed at Nigel Farage and his family this weekend; what’s scary is… Continue reading


Special Representative of the Secretary-

Sweden’s feminist foreign minister has dared to tell the truth about Saudi Arabia. What happens now concerns us all

Sweden’s feminist foreign minister has dared to tell the truth about Saudi Arabia. What happens now concerns us all

He’ll never admit it, but David Cameron is already plotting another deal with Nick Clegg


The Prime Minister could never admit it, but he’s dreaming of – and scheming for – another coalition

Alex Salmond sets out his terms for Ed Miliband


‘Would you like a glass of pink champagne?’ asks Alex Salmond at 3.30 p.m., sounding very much like a man settling down for the afternoon. It’s Monday and Scotland’s former… Read more

Lord Freud: the man who saved the welfare system


Cameron was right about one thing: not sacking Lord Freud

Belle Gibson and the pernicious cult of ‘wellness’

Yoga For Dancers

Our desperation to believe in power of lifestyle change makes us vulnerable to charlatans

‘You are always close to me’: Unity Mitford’s souvenirs of Hitler

Unity Mitford

Hitler’s adoring notes to Unity Mitford – and her family’s campaign to stop my book

The return of the fountain pen


A real writer sticks to his nibs

Rise early to see the Vatican at its best

Let there be light: Saint Peter’s at dawn

The sun has only just risen in Rome and we are standing bleary-eyed in a short queue outside the Vatican. Our guide, Tonia, takes us through security, and within minutes… Read more


UKIP leader Nigel Farage Photo: Getty

How Ukip became the incredible disappearing party

The establishment drive to marginalise Ukip has been under way for three months now, and it has having its effect.… Read more

From teapots to rare meat, my Britain is becoming a lost country

‘You know how 20 years ago, we looked at the dumbed-down education system and said to ourselves: “When this lot grow up, we are fucked”? Well now they’ve grown up.’ Photo: Getty

There was a letter to the Daily Telegraph last weekend which depressed me more than anything I’ve read in ages.… Read more

So the FTSE100 has finally broken its record – it’s still not doing nearly as well as executive pay


The FTSE100 index has at last breached 7,000, surpassing its peak of 30 December 1999 and provoking moderate celebration among… Read more


Head of a Man with Kausia, third century BC

Reimaging the lost masterpieces of antiquity

Martin Gayford visits two new surveys of Greek and Roman sculpture at the British Museum and Palazzo Strozzi. Reimagining what’s lost is as much of an inspiration as what remains

Wellington's PR machine

‘Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington’, 1829, by Sir Thomas Lawrence

The history of portraiture is festooned with images of sitters overwhelmed by dress, setting and the accoutrements of worldly success.… Read more

How gaming grew up

A still from the indie game Monument Valley

Sometimes a guy feels abstracted from the world. He visits Europe’s finest galleries, but the paintings seem to hang like… Read more

Why we should revel in the empty virtuosity of Handel's pasticcios

Portrait of Handel by Balthasar Denner

Before the jukebox musical, back when Mamma Mia!, Jersey Boys and Viva Forever! were still dollar-shaped glints in an as-yet-unborn… Read more

Shrapnel, Arcola, review: a play about a massacre that works for the slayers, not the slain

Zoë Wanamaker as Stevie Smith

Quite a hit factory these days, the Hampstead Theatre. The latest candidate for West End glory is Hugh Whitemore’s bio-drama… Read more

Lily James's Cinderella is more of a doormat than my actual doormat

Ella (Lily James) with her evil stepmother (Cate Blanchett)

Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella is a Disney film based on a Disney film, so is double Disney, if you like. It… Read more

Does the future of radio really lie in podcasts?

Serial producer Dana Chivvis Photo: Meredith Heuer

To a debate on the future of radio at the BBC where it turns out not to be a discussion… Read more

Channel 4's The Coalition reviewed: heroically free of cynicism

David Cameron (Mark Dexter), Nick Clegg (Bertie Carvel) and Gordon Brown (Ian Grieve)

In a late schedule change, Channel 4’s Coalition was shifted from Thursday to Saturday to make room for Jeremy Paxman… Read more


Elton John Photo: Getty

Make no mistake: the Top Gear brouhaha is cultural warfare

It’s a famous quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald, one that Elton John should ponder (when he’s not out shopping, that is): ‘The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability… Read more

Football in front, infibulation behind

Kenyan Maasai women gather for a meeting dedicated to the practice of female genital mutilation Photo: Getty

I’m watching Manchester City being taken to the cleaners by Barcelona on the telly, while at the table behind me my Parisian feminist intellectual hostess Natalie is discussing female genital… Read more

I gave the blasted Paltrow method a go and allowed a bit of conscious uncoupling to creep in


The builder boyfriend has a new girlfriend. I suppose he was bound to move on eventually. I just never thought he would move on this quickly. From the day I… Read more

Be different, be original: that’s what makes a popular politician

Ed Miliband Photo: Getty

I sometimes try to imagine what it would be like being a political leader. I find this difficult because I would be so utterly ill suited to the role. I’m… Read more

The warrior arched his body, readying to sling his spear at my chest

 Laikipia With a shriek, the warrior arched his body, readying to sling his spear at my chest. The tear-dropped javelin point flashed in the sun. In the heat, dust swirled… Read more