Sunday, 17 January 2010

GE2010: General Election Summary Day #14

The Conservatives remain solidly ahead in the opinion polls. Two polls over the weekend suggested the Conservatives remain on course for victory. YouGov had Conservatives 40% (down 2% points), Labour 31% (up 1% point) and Liberal Democrats 18% (up 2% points). Meanwhile ComRes had the Conservatives 42% (up 4% points), Labour 29% (no change) and Liberal Democrats 19% (no change). This gives a Conservative lead of between 9%-13%.

a YouGov poll for MigrationWatch UK suggests a little more volume on immigration could seal the deal for the Conservatives. Nine times as many voters in marginal seats are likely to vote for David Cameron as vote against him if he emphasises his promise to cap immigration to about 50,000pa.

Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats did well enough on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show this morning, suggesting that he will be far from a pushover in the expected election debates. However, he slipped up when Kevin Maguire of The Mirror asked if he had donated towards the Haiti Earthquake. Not yet, he flustered. Nick Clegg has been prone to this sort of gaffe he famously slipped up when asked about the value of the basic state pension (he said it was just £30!) and when asked about the number of his lovers (he answered the question).

The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) took a swing to the intolerant right with a pledge to ban the burkha. The move designed to stop leakage of UKIP votes to the BNP provoked strong criticism from both The Times and Conservatives MEPs. They called UKIP 'un-British'.

Fraser Nelson highlights the scale of likely Conservative defence cuts. In his News of the World column the Editor of The Spectator warns that Cameron's 'staggering' and 'puzzling' pledges on NHS and international aid will mean 20% defence cuts if they are not reversed.

Ed Balls attacked David Cameron's marriage policy. Ed Balls who has temporarily lost out to Lord Mandelson in the internal Labour debate as to whether Gordon Brown should emphasise a class-based appeal to core Labour voters or a Blairite appeal to aspiration. With Harriet Harman, however, he continues to bash the Conservatives for wanting to recognise marriage in the tax system. William Hague and Philip Hammond hit back for the Conservatives, noting that Labour's Britain was almost unique in not recognising marriage.
Tomorrow David Cameron and Michael Gove launch the families and education chapter of the Conservative draft manifesto. The Conservative leader gave a taste of his 'we'll-help-families-who-do-the-right-thing' message in this morning's Mail on Sunday (here).

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