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The real test for the politicians

20 April, 2017

Author: WARREN TOWN, DIRECTOR OF INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY

Number 10 Downing Street

Just when you thought it was safe and politicians could do what they have to do in parliament and leave you alone, along comes another national election.

Did anyone see this coming? A few did and you cannot but wonder if this was a Tory “Let’s strike while we have the advantage”, or more that the European parliament did not want to negotiate a deal with one government only to find that when the ‘deal’ is done, another takes over and the ground rules change.

If there is one thing that the EU likes over most things, it is stability and certainty.

But even if this is not the reason, there is always the belief from the front bench of the Tory party to strike while the ‘iron is hot’ and increase their lead in the polls and in parliament.
With the Tories on 43% and Labour on 25%, is it any wonder that we are where we are today?

The crucial test for all the parties is to retain credibility and momentum when the electorate will quickly tire of the steady stream from pundits, experts and prospective candidates giving the ‘10 best reasons’ to vote for whomsoever.

8 June may not seem a long way away but it will feel like an age as electioneering fever gathers pace and the press produce a steady stream of experts to tell us all what will happen on the day, or not as the case may be.

Mind you, the ‘experts’ and the polls do not have a good track record for predicting much recently in the UK, or elsewhere!

With Corbyn high on rhetoric and promising revolution on a grand scale, but light on policies or credibility, and the PM promising strong leadership and unity, you have to wonder what can you truly believe and what really is best for the country in the long term.

There are many wild cards to throw into the mix. Not least the option for local ‘coalition deals’ to split the vote and freeze out ‘unwanted’ candidates; this is despite public statements to the contrary. 

And we should not underestimate the impact that the youth vote can have in certain areas of the country.

And then we have Brexit and the uncertainty that surrounds the economy, the future for public services, devolution and the upheaval generated by changes to benefits and welfare.

No matter what you think of any of the parties there is a feeling that the electorate is not, at the moment, in the mood for further change but instead want stability and to feel safe and secure.

Quite possibly it is achieving this for the electorate that will be the real test for all politicians.

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