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  • France’s four-round election

    Four days after the UK’s general election, the French will also be called to elect their representatives for the National Assembly. Voters will have to choose between candidates from at least five different parties and will often vote twice, in a two-round system akin to that of the presidency.

    All girls deserve an education, not just the lucky ones

    When she stepped down as Prime Minister in 2013, Julia Gillard didn’t opt for an easy life. Instead, she chose to take on one of the greatest global challenges of our time: how to give more children a quality education. In 2014 she became Chair of the Global Partnership for Education. In the latest Portland Global View blog, Julia Gillard focuses on a specific and crucial challenge, and one often seen as a key to long-term development, that of educating girls. 

    UK’s aid budget an unexpected focus in the UK General Election

    As speculation grew last week that the aid budget would be trimmed, a counter campaign to show the value of the UK’s aid programme found its voice. 

    Will public backing strengthen May’s Brexit hand?

    Theresa May’s argument this morning for - reluctantly - calling a snap general election, was all about Brexit. She said that the opposition parties were getting in the way of her ability to deliver Brexit successfully for the UK; preventing her from getting Britain Brexit-ready; weakening her stance in her negotiations with fellow European leaders. She didn’t quite say they were thwarting the will of the people, but that was the implied message. And so she asked that we put it to the people – again.

    SNP: Another chance to make the case for independence?

    The political landscape in Scotland is unlikely to shift significantly in June, with the SNP confident of another strong showing. The party continues to poll well ahead of any other at around 45%. With the first-past-the-post electoral system, the SNP will be confident of retaining most, although not all, of its seats at Westminster.

    Conservatives: May targets general election on June 8

    In a short, unscheduled statement outside Downing Street, Theresa May outlined a clear rationale for holding an early election: the country may be coming together over Brexit but Westminster politicians remain stubbornly divided, against the national interest. The only way to “secure the strong and stable leadership the UK needs” as it leaves the EU is to ensure opposition parties cannot disrupt the Brexit agenda, she argued.

    Liberal Democrats: The true test of Farron’s fightback

    The Lib Dems remain characteristically upbeat following Theresa May’s decision to call a snap election today. Despite being decimated by the Conservatives’ decapitation strategy in 2015, there are several reasons for Tim Farron and his party to be quietly confident in adding significantly to their rump of nine MPs.

    Labour: Corbyn’s moment of truth?

    There is no doubt that this morning's announcement of a summer general election could not have come at a worse time for Her Majesty's Opposition. Already on track to lose a considerable number of councillors in local elections in England and Scotland (Scottish Labour’s launch event was also at 11am this morning) and predicted to underperform in the Metro Mayor races, could this be the beginning of the end?

    An ambitious but reachable target

    Whilst there has been huge progress made since 1990 with 2.6 billion more people now able to drink clean water and over 2.1 billion gaining access to a toilet, one in ten of the world’s population still don’t have access to safe water and one in three live without decent sanitation. This is just not acceptable and by 2030 universal access needs to be a reality.

    The rock and the hard place

    Given talk of a £50 billion exit bill, anguish over three million EU nationals in Britain, and uncertainty over a financial services sector worth £125 billion to the UK economy, few expected a craggy, mountainous rock just nine miles from Africa to be the first battleground of the Brexit negotiations.

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