Battleground Broxtowe: Could HS2 decide marginal seat?

Potential HS2 train design
The possibility of Toton being a HS2 hub station has divided candidates in Broxtowe

The East Midlands battleground seat of Broxtowe has a reputation for being the touch and go constituency.

In the last general election, the Conservatives' Anna Soubry took the Nottingham suburban seat from Labour with a majority of less than 400. But after five years of austerity, the outcome in this election is too difficult to call. That's why it is so sensitive.

Just ask Nick Palmer, the Labour candidate who hopes to win back the seat he lost in 2010.

"Broxtowe is a very moderate, traditional constituency," he told me. "Last time, I lost by less than one per cent."

His strategy?

Read full article Battleground Broxtowe: Could HS2 decide marginal seat?

Why Nicky Morgan faces a new battle to defend her seat

Composite image of the candidates
The Conservatives, Labour, UKIP, the Liberal Democrats and Greens have all declared their candidates for Loughborough

In the battle of the marginals, it always helps to get the bigger picture and a sense of historical perspective. So let me suggest a visit to Cotes Bridge on the outskirts of Loughborough.

During the English Civil War in the 1640s, there was a pitched battle here between the Roundheads and the Cavaliers.

Read full article Why Nicky Morgan faces a new battle to defend her seat

Standing down: Former East Midlands MPs sit out election campaign

  • 1 April 2015
  • From the section England
Removal company outside Westminster
Removal companies were brought in to the Houses of Parliament as several MPs stood down

Away from the heat and battle of this election, three Conservative politicians in the East Midlands will view the campaign from the sidelines.

They're the MPs who've decided to call it a day and step down.

Read full article Standing down: Former East Midlands MPs sit out election campaign

The squeezed middle? The East Midlands responds

  • 28 March 2015
  • From the section England
The M1 motorway
East Midlands Councils fear the region's infrastructure may be overlooked for funding

The East Midlands is at risk of being squeezed economically by the growing influence of the northern cities, according to one of our top council leaders.

Jon Collins warns that government cash for future road and rail projects could easily bypass our region, because of the political clout of the so-called "northern powerhouse" and London.

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Budget: The East Midlands gives its reaction

  • 19 March 2015
  • From the section England
George Osborne with the 2015 Budget
A traditional pose outside 11 Downing Street on Budget morning

So who are the winners and loses after George Osborne's last Budget before the general election?

Certainly, Tory MPs defending marginal East Midlands seats left the Commons chamber looking surprisingly upbeat.

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East Midlands council leaders voice migrant concerns

  • 6 March 2015
  • From the section England
Somali migrants on the beach; an anti immigration march in the 1960s
An exhibition at the University of Leicester shows contrasting images of migration

At the University of Leicester, there's been a remarkable exhibition of photographs charting the impact of immigration on Britain and the city itself.

Entitled 100 Stories of Migration, some of the images are positive and celebratory. There's a picture of a smiling young mother and her child from Somalia on the beach at Brighton.

Read full article East Midlands council leaders voice migrant concerns

Northern Powerhouse? Midlands councils combine forces

  • 28 February 2015
  • From the section England
Nottingham and Manchester town halls
Could Nottingham emulate the great northern powerhouse centred in Manchester?

Significant new powers over transport, housing and the local economy are to be devolved to Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire by the government.

It's the biggest shift in powers from Whitehall in generations, but the deal requires local councils to combine into one super authority. So what could it all mean?

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Who will win the East Midlands marginal seats?

  • 16 February 2015
  • From the section England
Downing Street door
Will David Cameron or Ed Miliband gain most from the East Midlands' marginal seats?

Only a mug would try to predict the outcome of this General Election... But here's one safe bet: Like gold prospectors in the Klondike, the main political parties will be searching for electoral Eldorado in the East Midlands marginal seats.

Those seats are parliamentary gold dust, where voters have tended to chop and change and that's why this region will become "Battleground East Midlands".

Read full article Who will win the East Midlands marginal seats?

Effectiveness is key to future of Lords, says leader

  • 7 February 2015
  • From the section England
Baroness Stowell of Beeston
Baroness Stowell of Beeston is leader of the House of Lords

Effectiveness not necessarily reform is the way ahead for the House of Lords, according to its leader.

"Judge us on what we do and whether we make a difference," Baroness Stowell of Beeston told me.

Read full article Effectiveness is key to future of Lords, says leader

Boots boss: Was he right to attack Labour's tax policy?

  • 5 February 2015
  • From the section England
Monaco harbour
Boots chief executive Stefano Pessina was accused of being a tax exile in Monaco

What should we make of the fierce battle of words that has broken out between the leader of the Labour Party and the billionaire boss of one of the UK's best known high street names - Boots of Nottingham.

The company's Italian-born chief executive Stefano Pessina caused Labour fury by criticising the party's tax plans as being a threat to business growth.

Read full article Boots boss: Was he right to attack Labour's tax policy?