An interesting critique by Peter Saunders of the CIS:
This UK election campaign has been the most tepid and uninspiring I can remember. Everyone seems bored.
Support for Labour and Conservatives has hardly flickered (both stuck around 33%). Barring some last minute seismic shift, Britain is heading for another hung Parliament, this time with the socialists of the Scottish National Party holding the balance of power. They will back Labour.
The Tories have run an ineffective campaign. They’ve targeted Miliband, but the Labour leader performed well in TV debates and his ratings are up (from minus 52% to minus 18%!). Voters say the Tories have been too negative.
With the economy apparently strengthening, the Conservatives should have had a positive story to tell. Growth is the strongest in Europe. Two million new private sector jobs have been created (more than in the rest of the EU put together). Real wages are recovering. The deficit has halved (though debt is still huge). This should be enough to win an election.
The Tory campaign has been based on no one wanted Miliband as PM. But Miliband has performed okay in the campaign. I agree that they should have been campaigning on the economy more.
The Conservatives seem ashamed of their successes. Four hundred free schools have been founded, 4,000 schools have become self-governing academies freed from local council control, and education standards at last are rising. But none of this gets mentioned (Cameron sacked his Education Minister to appease the teacher unions).
Always a mistake, appeasement.
Week after week, the focus is on the NHS (Labour’s strong suit) and immigration (where the Tories are outflanked by UKIP). Voters have been left wondering: What do the Conservatives stand for?
In a telling blunder, Cameron this week forgot the name of the football team he claims to support. It was symptomatic of his lack of belief in anything. He wants to be Prime Minister. But nobody knows why.
They may get the largest number of seats, but with the SNP likely to win almost every seat in Scotland, this puts Labour in the stronger position. However a UK Government propped by a party that wants to dissolve the UK is unlikely to be stable or popular!