Jonathan Freedland writes in The Guardian:
Voters tell pollsters all the timethat they want, say, to renationalise the railways or end zero-hours contracts: one party says it’ll give them what they want; the other refuses. How can there not be a resounding Labour victory?
And yet those same polls that show support for individual Labour policies also show an electorate readying to deliver precisely the opposite verdict at the ballot box. How do we explain a country that is poised to spurn Santa and his big bag of goodies and instead willingly embrace Scrooge?
Policies are important, but secondary to credibility and leadership and unity.
The coming rejection of an apparently popular platform will be a brutal reminder of a central truth about politics, that what matters is not just the product you’re offering but your perceived ability to deliver it. It comes down to credibility. Voters don’t believe Labour has a hope of fulfilling its promises.
I think the same applies here. Does anyone actually think a Labour-led government would build 30,000 homes in three years. People know they have no ability to do it. They don’t even have the land for it.
Consider the advice that a glass of red wine a day is good for you. If a doctor says it, you’ll accept it. But if the same advice comes from an alcoholic, you’ll hesitate. Labour aspires to be entrusted with the nation’s health and wealth. But the country first needs to be sure that its hands are not trembling.
Labour is the alcoholic when it comes to the economy and spending.