Interesting debate on Channel 4 news this evening. It gives an idea of how the parties want to frame the election debate…
The Tories clearly feel that people are tired of Brown and want to see someone different in power so expect to hear the word ‘change’ from nearly every shadow spokesperson throughout the campaign. Early indications show that the Tories are also happy to go negative early to underline peoples disaffection so there will be plenty of talk of ‘Death Taxes’ and ‘Taxes on Jobs’ etc.
Labour on the other hand feel that the economy is still their strongest chance of holding on to power… they will be pushing hard on being a high quality team with plenty of strength in depth under a leader of huge experience, particularly on the economy. Today has been very much about ‘The recovery has started, don’t let the Tories ruin it’. Labour know that if they lose their reputation for economic competence they have lost the election so expect this, as well as continued improvement of public services to be the key themes for them in the early exchanges.
This is a crucial election for the Lib-Dems and they feel that this could be their watershed moment. Nick Clegg and his team will want to tar both the Tories and Labour with the same brush. They will argue that people are ‘sick and tired of the current politics’ and that only the Lib-Dems (who have been out of power since the time of World War One) can offer the genuine change that the public desire.
No-one had a clean win on day one, and no-one would have expected to. The party leaderships will however be trying to gain the early momentum by trying to dictate the terms of the debate to as close as the above as they can over the coming days and weeks.