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Two Years on: The YouGov Panel on US Politics
Last uploaded : Saturday 15th Mar 2014 at 01:49
Contributed by : Carol Gould


How much the world has changed since I appeared on the YouGov panel exactly two years ago; who could have envisaged a possible war with Russia and the misery in Syria? I remember the hot topic of the evening was Mitt Romney's Mormonism. Bonnie Greer, Matthew Jameson and Jon Sopel were exciting co-panellists. Here is the link -- at the bottom of the page -- to the video of the evening.

Chair: Jon Sopel, Presenter, BBC News Channel
Carol Gould, Editor, currentviewpoint.com
Bonnie Greer OBE, Author & Playwright
Dr Stefan Halper, Former White House & Presidential Campaign advisor, now Senior Fellow, Centre of International Studies, University of Cambridge
Stephan Shakespeare, Chief Executive & Founder, YouGov Plc
Matthew Jameson, Consultant Fellow, Royal United Services Institute
Royal Commonwealth Society, 25 Northumberland Avenue, WC2N 5AP

More than 200 members of TheStoneClub and the YouGovStone ThinkTank gathered at the Royal Commonwealth Society on Wednesday, February 29 2012 to hear our expert panel discuss the US Elections, and what they mean for British interests.

The chair, Jon Sopel, Senior Anchor for the BBC News Channel, summarised the opinion of all of the panellists – the US elections would be fought between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.

Stephan Shakespeare, CEO and co-founder of YouGov, guided us through some of the latest polling figures. He argued that people don't vote on ethical issues; it is the economy that will drive the US election results. As the economy improves so does Obama’s outlook and Stephan said the numbers suggest the Republicans will hold on to Congress and take the Senate but lose the Presidency.

Stefan Halper, former White House and Presidential campaign advisor, now Senior Fellow at the Centre of International Studies, University of Cambridge, delivered a four minute vision of the future – a second term for Obama after Romney emerges shredded from the primaries. The outcome of the election however would be less important than the cultural shift towards realism in the US. In the future it would work with its allies but require them to pay their own way.

Bonnie Greer OBE, author and playwright, argued it still mattered to the UK who took the lead. Romney would offer a little more contact of the “sentimental old school kind”, therefore it was in Britain’s interests for Obama to win as we would have to change mightily to receive his full attention. She did however agree America has very little knowledge or interest in the UK as power is moving South and East and that is where the President is looking.

She cast doubt on the so-called special relationship between Britain and America, saying it does not extend to anything that goes against the US interests, such as the Falklands.

Matthew Jameson, Consultant Fellow, Royal United Services Institute, said we British tend to get neurotic about the relationship, looking for snubs but at the end of the day it is a structural relationship that will transcend changes in government. Stefan Halper agreed.

However Matthew suggested the special relationship faces significant challenges in this decade, from British defence cuts. These will have a detrimental impact of Britain's ability to fight alongside America. He warned Britain must realise its value to the US is diminishing as the focus shifts to the Asia Pacific region. This could be a good thing, as Europe assumes the responsibility for its own security.

Carol Gould, editor of currentviewpoint.com, argued that in a precarious situation of global financial turmoil, instability in Syria, Israel, Iran and the Eurozone and with the emergence of “strange bedfellows”, new global partnerships, it was more important than ever to preserve the US and UK relationship.

s://research.yougov.co.uk/events/us-elections-2012/ .


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