Today, the Conservatives published their General Election manifesto. Cicero Elections has analysed the document and every Conservative policy can be found in the official Cicero Elections Manifesto Hub.
Leaks before the launch confirmed that the Prime Minister would pledge two key policies: a significant extension to the Right-to-Buy for Housing Association tenants and removing minimum-wage workers from Personal Income Tax.
Recently, the Conservative campaign team has grown concerned that economic good news was failing to galvanise the electorate as much as had been hoped. Tory strategist, Lynton Crosby, had been talking for months about the ‘cross-over’ when they would overtake Labour in the polls, but it hasn’t happened. As a result, Cameron’s performance can across as an attempt to inject a dose of passion into a campaign that has appeared one step behind its opponents in recent days.
In a bid to broaden the Party’s appeal the document boldly states “We have a plan for every stage of your life” and goes onto list the Conservative’s commitments at the point of birth, through schooling, gaining employment, raising a family and managing old age and retirement.
Hailing this “buccaneering, can-do country”, the Prime Minister sought to set out his vision for the UK and how the country was on the brink of “something special”. As he explained how he didn’t “come into politics to be some high-powered accountant” it became apparent this was a far punchier appearance from a PM under pressure.
What was striking was the individualistic, optimistic tone of the PM’s speech. The party had already skirted around what form the promised £12bn of cuts would take, but now there seem to be new, generous (and allegedly un-costed) policies as well.
As a result, following Labour’s attempt to draw itself as the fiscally responsible party on Monday, it seems the two main parties have accidentally swapped places for a short time, in an attempt to appeal to voters on the middle ground.
Either way, the Conservative have changed the rhythm of their campaign with this upbeat manifesto announcement, now it’s time to see if the voters fall into step.