Stephen has been writing over at Conservative Home again. This time, he’s done his end of year report for each of the main parties. The Telegraph’s Toby Young even complimented it. Here are some snippets:
With economic growth returning, Labour has deftly segued their economic attack. The assault on public spending cuts that go “too far, too fast” has been ditched, and in its place is a new refrain, “the Tory cost-of-living crisis”. It’s an ingenious line, tapping into the lag between the nascent recovery and people’s wages, with Ed Miliband’s populist pledge to freeze energy prices for 20 months offering his activists a morale-boosting policy to flog.
Mr Cameron finds himself pulled in different directions, shoring up his base with immigration crackdowns and anti-EU rhetoric, while trying simultaneously to placate those Conservatives (including many of his A-lister MPs) wooed way back when he was promising to “let sunshine win the day”. The Telegraph’s well-connected Benedict Brogan recordsthat “It is difficult to find Conservatives willing to say privately that they will still be in power after polling day.” Are they right? As it stands, yes.
We’re used to Ukip polling well in the European elections then largely fading from sight – but this year the Faragistas proved themselves well-capable of mounting an advance beyond this comfort zone. They pushed the Conservatives into third place at the Eastleigh by-election and came within a whisker of repeating the trick at the local elections. Few people would bet against them topping this May’s Euro poll, a feat which could yet spook Tory MPs, no matter how “priced in” such an outcome is.
We face another tough set of local elections, and there is a distinct possibility the party could finish fifth in the Euros. Yet the successful defence of Eastleigh showed that the Lib Dems are hard to get rid of once we’re entrenched – “cockroach-ish”, as party president Tim Farron colourfully described us – and it is this which gives hope that more of our 57 MPs will survive than a simple uniform poll swing would imply. The other glint of light is the failure of both Labour and the Conservatives to convince the voters they have what it takes to govern alone.
You can read the whole piece here.
* Newsmoggie – bringing you comment on the Lib Dems whether it's deserved or not