There are now just over three and a half years until the next election. What will you have achieved by 2015? It’s a question being mulled over by a number of MPs at the moment. Political ambitions move as time closes down some opportunities and opens up others. The main legislative action is taking place in the House of Lords in the first half of this year. It is rather glib to ask ‘what will MPs be doing?’ considering the size of their constituency inboxes but it’s fair to point out that the next couple of months allow for some reassessment of career prospects. The first cabinet reshuffle, either this spring or post-Olympics, also focuses the minds of ambitious Conservatives and Lib Dems. Watch out for the informal groups forming on the Conservative backbenches. It could be here where the action takes place. There is the 40 Group, for those MPs holding the most marginal seats. There is also the Women2Win group, which is, with our cover star Theresa May and a number of female Conservative MPs, leading a wave of right-wing politicians happy to call themselves feminists. There is a series of other dining groups for Conservatives. These groups have always formed within the party, but the combination of limited opportunities for promotion in the coalition government and the decision to hold out until May for the Queen’s Speech means it is within these groups that we may well see ambition and grievances aired. I hope you enjoy this issue, which features several figures to pay close attention to. Speaking to Dan Jarvis, I found an inexperienced young Labour MP but I think he’s got ‘it’. As I say, he’s currently got more questions than answers but that’s a very good reason to follow his progress carefully this year. Our cover star, Theresa May, also reveals how she could become a trailblazer for future female politicians. Before we hit a period of elections, Olympics and jubilees, it’ll be fascinating to see how these ambitions play out. MPs don’t like waiting around. As Jarvis says: “I’m naturally impatient and restless.”
en Duckworth • Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
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4 | February 2012 | Total Politics
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ISSN 1757 - 0492
On the cover Theresa May photographed exclusively for Total Politics by Alisa Connan on 7 December 2011 at the Home Office, London.