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Thoughts on a General Election: Week 5.

The fallout from the "let's raid Granny's home for everything bar £100k" policy generated one of the most abject u-turns in campaign history. Even David Butler termed it "unprecedented" and I reckon he's covered more UK General Elections than anyone else alive.
And it will be too late. As YouGov's poll showed, the so-called "dementia tax" is now stuck in the voters' minds. It's almost as if the Conservatives sat down to try to work out the worst kind of typically Corbyn proposal possible, and then chucked it in their own manifesto.
The impact on the opinion polls was immediate and significant. A "wobble" threatened to become a stroke. A lead of 19pp was down to 5pp in only three weeks. For the first time it was being seriously hypothesized that Labour could get the most seats.
Even Conservative supporters have been calling it "the worst Conservative campaign in living memory". It's probably up there (or, rather, down there) with Churchill's in 1945, which made similar errors and which treated the Labour opposition with a similar scare strategy.
And yet, at 43% to 38% we would still see a Conservative majority. But, probably fatally for Theresa May, it would be hardly any larger than the one achieved in 2015.
The bomb attack in Manchester should have worked in favour of the Conservatives, but Labour had every opportunity to exploit it. They only had to hammer home (a) the 20,000 cut to the police force and (b) that Corbyn had questioned it at the time.
But this seems to be an election of attempted suicides. Corbyn chose instead to focus on how the west must bear part of the blame -- sorry, *responsibility* -- because of its actions in the past. As with the care home cost debacle on the Conservative side, and once again apparently beyond the with of the Party leadership and most of its supporters, the truth of an analysis is irrelevant. What matters is how well it plays with wavering voters and how it will be treated by the other side.
May being abroad, mixing with world leaders, is also something that should work in favour of the Conservatives. Certainly Blair would have been milking it for all it was worth, looking as statesmanlike as possible and "above" the party political fray. The adjective "presidential" was not an insult when it came to Blair. it was how he worked and he was successful at it.
But May is beginning to look significantly second-rate. And her team looks second-rate. They don't seem to have their finger on the pulse of the nation;
Corbyn's team is in places beyond fifth rate. But McDonnell has turned himself into a friendly reassuring uncle. I wouldn't be surprised if he brought out a pipe, because this is straight out of the Harold Wilson playbook of 1963. And there is some talent in the Labour Party (notably Keir Starmer and -- I am biased here, my own MP Heidi Alexander) . Of course, most of that talent resigned because they thought Corbyn was electoral suicide. What we have got instead is not electoral suicide per se, as what would be elected suicide, because the financial promises are (a) unsustainable (b) disingenuous and (c) gambling on most voters not understanding simple financial facts (such as, if you borrow money to buy an asset, it is still borrowed money; having the asset does not stop it being so).
I assume that there is talent tucked away in the Conservative Party, but I haven't seen much evidence of it in this campaign.
Current seat predictions as of latest poll:
Cons 334, Lab 236, LibDem 10, SNP 47, PC 3, Green 1, Speaker 1, NI 18.

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