It’s been manifesto week in the election campaign, and despite all the political cross dressing (austere Labour and spendthrift Tories) there are clear dividing lines in the parties’ approaches to public policy. This is particularly true when it comes to the world of work and pay.
If traditional electoral logic were to hold true the Tories might expect to be riding a wave of popular support. Growth has returned, jobs are being created and the deficit is down (even if it has not been eliminated) – all which should play well not just with captains of industry but also with the electorate.
Yesterday’s ONS revelation that the absence of productivity growth over the past seven years is unprededented in the post-war period is both a body blow to the economic record of the coalition and the economic orthodoxy that underpins it.
We are just days away from the start of the 2015 election campaign. Politicians will soon be stepping-up their last minute efforts to win over undecided voters in what is set to be a hard fought and close election.
All budgets are political. After all they are delivered by politicians. But some budgets are more political than others. With May 7th looming large this year’s budget is the last set piece before the starting gun of the campaign is fired.
Between 1997 and 2010, Labour lost five million votes.
The electoral coalition Labour had carefully nurtured in their 18 wilderness years fragmented, and with it power was lost. Votes disappeared in all directions: the Conservatives gained 1.1 million votes, the Lib Dems 1.6 million, the BNP half a million, and 1.