Policy North Election Update: 30th May

The weekend’s opinion polls show that while the Conservatives are still on course to win next month’s general election, Labour are closing the gap- Opinium and ComRes put the lead at 10% and 12% respectively, a smaller lead than in previous weeks. Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph credits Labour’s resurgence in the polls with leader Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity with women.

At a time when security is on everyone’s mind, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that comments made by Labour’s Diane Abbott that Corbyn had met IRA members ‘in their capacity as activists in Sinn Féin’ exposed Corbyn’s previous claim that he had never met with the IRA during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Abbott was herself questioned about remarks she made appearing to support the IRA in 1984, however she said that her views on terrorism, like her hairstyle, have since changed.

Former Chancellor George Osborne said this week that the Conservatives’ manifesto was ‘badly thought through’, referring to the party’s scrapping of their social care policy on Monday. The editor of the London Evening Standard also claimed that Theresa May was leading the party away from the ideals of globalism pursued by predecessor David Cameron.

In the continuing battle for Northern votes, Conservative MP Michael Gove visited Tynemouth this week campaigning for the party’s candidate, Nick Varley.  A leading figure in the Brexit campaign, it was hoped that Gove’s presence in the area would appeal to the region’s voters, the majority of which voted Leave in last year’s referendum.

Nicola Sturgeon told the BBC that the SNP should be involved with Brexit negotiations along with Wales and Northern Ireland. The Scottish First Minister also said that she would consider working with Labour in a new government, however Jeremy Corbyn has previously denied being interested in forming a coalition with other parties.

Meanwhile, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon accused Jeremy Corbyn of being ‘soft on terror’ and said that he has ‘opposed every piece of anti-terror legislation’, UKIP leader Paul Nuttall said that his party would offer a referendum on the fox hunting ban if there was public demand for one, and with Russia 2018 on the horizon, Corbyn tried a new tactic to win his party votes, quoting former Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson, who referring to England’s famous 1966 win said ‘have you noticed how we only win the World Cup under a Labour government?’