FORMER Prime Minister Harold Wilson famously said “A week is a long time in politics” and this is proving true with the 2017 General Election.
Just over a week ago, all of the opinion polls and general political observation suggested that the result of the General Election due on June 8 was a foregone conclusion with the Conservatives returning to power with a massive majority.
Now, opinion polls and the bookies seem to agree that although the Conservatives are set to win, their lead in the polls has dropped to 9 per cent from 16 per cent following the publication of the party manifestos.
The Conservatives appear to be losing some of the support of the middle class and elderly voters as they see their pockets being targeted with possible removal of winter fuel allowance, and attacks on their children’s inheritance as properties could be sold after death to pay for their council care.
In addition, the triple lock pension safeguard will be replaced by 2020 by an inferior double lock commitment and the Conservatives will no longer guarantee that taxes (except for vat) will not be increased.
Labour on the other hand is wooing young voters by promising to immediately scrap university tuition fees and to improve all areas of social and health care even if it means increasing borrowing to manage this.
In the run up of to midnight (UK time) today (May 22), the last date to register to vote, there has been a huge number of new voters filling in the application forms online, with up to 100,000 per day and assuming that they are mainly new voters, then this could be young people responding to a call to support the Labour party.
The Liberals with their offer of a second referendum on Brexit and the legalisation of cannabis, don’t seem to be making any headway in the polls that put them at just 8 per cent, although that is double the support for UKIP who are not competing in seats where the Conservatives are not certain of success.