Monday, April 12, 2010

Tories' strong week leaves Cameron close to a majority.

New polls show that David Cameron is moving tantalisingly close to the point where he could form a government after the election.

Our latest poll of polls, based on no less than 13 national polls conducted during the course of last week, now puts the Conservatives on 39 per cent, up one point on the previous week. That means David Cameron's party is now nine points ahead of Labour, whose average vote, at 30 percent, is unchanged.
Cameron needs a swing towards the Tories of ten percent to hold a majority of one. However, he is not out of the woods yet, with some of his favourite policies about to come under scrutiny.

For instance, Cameron is to announce that his government will give tax breaks to certain married couples.
But this latest announcement might prove more vulnerable to attack. Two polls published yesterday suggested a majority of the public do not necessarily agree that married people should be treated more favourably than those who are unmarried, let alone those who are widowed or divorced. It remains to be seen whether Labour and the Liberal Democrats can successfully exploit this potential line of attack.
It's so typical of the Tories to play a card like this and to assume that we all share their prejudices. They forget that we are no longer living in the 1950's when such an obvious bias would be greeted by the majority as favouring them. Now there are many couples living together who see no need to get married and who are likely to feel extremely put out by this blatant exclusion.

And, if Cameron's answer to this is that people should get married, then today people might very well see that as the government attempting to interfere unnecessarily in how people chose to live their lives. It's a throwback to the eighties and Thatcher's cry of "family values". It really should have no place in modern politics.

And, with Cameron refusing to state where he intends to make cuts, Unison have launched a poster warning the country that, under a conservative government, public services will be slashed.

General secretary Dave Prentis said: "The poster's graphic image will give voters a sharp reminder of Tory plans to take an axe to vital public services.

"Public spending and the threat of job cuts are high on the election agenda. Tory councils have already wiped out thousands of jobs across Britain and local people are paying the price.

"We are seeing vital services such as meals on wheels, nurseries, day centres, home care and libraries disappear and, if the Tories get into power, they have said that thousands more jobs will go.

"Our message is a simple one - use your vote and stop the threat to your public services."

Jerry Nelson of public sector union GMB said: "Since its beginning Labour has supported the welfare state. A decent society is one that recognises and invests in pensions, health care and education.

"But this is clearly now under threat. If the Tories win we will see a concerted attack on the services, services that protect the most vulnerable in society."

The choice at the moment is between a government who will seek to protect public services and an incoming administration which will slash them. Indeed, they have promised to do so with some relish.

Sadly, Gordon Brown popularity might already be so low that there is no way to prevent this from taking place. Our best hope at the moment is for a hung parliament which might hold back the worst of the Tories excesses. But even those hopes are beginning to recede if these new polls are to be believed.

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