Saturday, 4 May 2013

Labour's county elections strategy did not work

A further thought on this week's elections: if the Labour rhetoric about "tax-cuts for millionaires"* and attacks on the "bedroom tax", which seemed to be the main thrust of their campaign for Thursday's local elections in England, had resonated with the voters, then they would have swept the board. As it was, a 1700% increase in their number of councillors was registered by UKIP, a party which, if anything, would like to reduce taxes on the well-off even further and would remove most allowances (apart from invalidity benefits).

After the election, the talk switched to "jobs and growth". It is a pity therefore that, when Nigel Farage appeared on BBC News Channel's post-election analysis programme yesterday, Chuka Umunna did not challenge UKIP's leader to spell out his proposals to increase employment. To be fair, the other panel members also concentrated on UKIP's immigration policy, though Ed Davey was the only one to take on Farage's assertions about EU migration and demolish them.

* In fact, as Mark Pack's graphic shows, for every £1 gained by the well-off, £5 is recovered from them in other ways as a result of successive coalition budgets.

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