The commentators 28-04-15
...on the general election
The Electoral Reform Society has published research showing that most constituencies haven’t changed hands since the 1960s and some have been in one party control since Queen Victoria was on the throne. These are the seats, both Tory and Labour, where they weigh the vote rather than count it. The real battle is being fought for a few thousand votes in around 80 marginals mainly in England, which are being bombarded with election literature and subjected to a steady stream of political heavyweights beating a path to their doors. Some of them may be getting fed up with it but at least they are involved. Their vote counts; it doesn’t feel like mine does.
- Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph
Ed Miliband is still well behind David Cameron in terms of personal ratings, and he may yet not win. Most recent polls suggest that the Conservatives are ahead. Nonetheless the recognition that there might be more to the Labour leader shows how the Conservatives and their friends in the media chose only to see of him what they wanted to see. They underestimated him when they had no excuse to do so.
- Steve Richards, Independent
If the UK can be mortally wounded by a five-week campaign run by a hopelessly unpopular party, is it so robust anyway? What should trouble unionists most about Tory efforts to mobilise the English is that the effort required is so minimal. “Voters start ranting about the SNP unprompted,” testifies one startled Conservative. The grievances are inchoate — a hunch that people “up there” are taking liberties with “our” tax revenues. But they are more likely to harden than to go away. Unionism must take an interest in England before England loses interest in unionism - Janan Ganesh, Financial Times
In the blur of last-minute election promises, party leaders have come to resemble glorified estate agents, each selling dream houses at knock-down prices. They are bidding against each other to make home-owning more affordable. Cameron’s utterly bizarre policy, to make the most secure of the rental sector’s tenants – those of Housing Associations – able to buy their own properties, has been met with Miliband’s promise to cut stamp duty on properties worth less than £300,000 and to bring in rent controls.
- Suzanne Moore, The Guardian
In the 19th century, US settlers fought fire with fire, by burning small areas of undergrowth to create a break that would stop a forest fire in its tracks — but all too often they lost control of the fires they had started. Now the parties are fighting fear with fear and they too risk getting burnt by stoking the anti-politics mood sweeping the country.
- Rachel Sylvester, The Times
Comment archive, 2015
Scottish National Party
Depression and killer pilot
Prince Charles's letters
Cameron's exit strategy
Lee Kwan Yew
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