Sunday, 21 May 2017

Second place victory

There is a new poll out which shows Labour gaining on the Tories, with the gap between them reduced to 9%..  This would bring the General Election closer to hung parliament territory, which would be in stark contrast to the expected Tory tsunami when Theresa May called it.  The question is why would this be?

The Labour manifesto has been criticised for being uncosted and for reverting back to the 1970s, with talk of renationalising railways and scrapping tuition fees for example.  In general, however, the manifesto is likely to resonate most with young voters.  The Tories would normal be expected to appeal to the grey vote by safeguarding things such as pensions.  Interestingly, however, they are going in quite the opposite direction by removing the triple lock on pensions, removing the winter heating allowance from pensioners and proposals to make pensioners requiring care to now have the value of their house taken into account when valuing their assets, with only £100,000 being protected.  Given that the elderly are most likely to vote, and to vote Tory, why is Theresa May taking this course?

The thought occurs that maybe the Tories don't want to win the election.  Having got the UK into the position of going through with Brexit (and a hard Brexit at that), they are best placed to know just what they are up against in terms of negotiating with the EU.  Wouldn't it just be typical of the Tories who, having made a huge mess, now want someone else to deal with it so that they can attempt to avoid responsibility for what's about to happen?

Maybe this is verging on conspiracy theory territory, but it would not be out of character for the Tories to try something likes this.  In Scotland, in the last two elections, the Tories have come second but have essentially been declared the winners.  Looks like they are trying for something similar for the whole UK this time round.

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