This snap election campaign began as a triumphal march by an imperious Prime Minister. Theresa May entered it almost as more than a mere party politician. Her Conservative Party had kept hold of its core voters and gained, because of Brexit, permission to be heard among natural Labour ones. She, Nick Timothy and her core team had crafted an appeal to win these over: an energy price cap, more council homes, new workers’ rights, an industrial strategy. The polls showed soaring Tory leads. Little was heard from Labour. Candidates reported from the doorsteps that the contest was a cakewalk. Britain was set for a Great Patriotic Election.Related Articles WATCH: May votes in Maidenhead David Davis: Brexit is the defining issue of our age. The choice today to lead us through it is – May or Corbyn Daniel Hannan: Don’t let Labour muck it up WATCH: “Fiercely patriotic” Labour voters should support the Conservatives tomorrow WATCH: Corbyn opposes any return to Control Orders.
Team May then made a deliberate decision: to trade off part of this emerging majority for a mandate. The social contract between the generations is broken in Britain. Spending on richer older retired people has been protected at the expense of younger poorer working ones. The former turn out to vote at elections and are the Conservative Party’s base in a country divided less by class than age when it goes to the polls. David Cameron and George Osborne was wary of offending it. The Coalition brought in a pensions triple lock, kept Gordon Brown’s winter fuel allowance, and ducked the problem of the rising cost of social care.
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