As we approach June 8th, Atlas will be sending through a Friday round-up of news, anecdotes, and current polling to help you keep abreast of the latest campaign trail developments.
1) Labour's draft Manifesto leak: brilliant politics or internal struggle?
On Wednesday night, the Labour draft manifesto was leaked to Fleet Street. Commentators aren’t quite sure whether it was leaked by Corbyn’s own team to strengthen his hand in internal policy debates and grab headlines, or by the anti-Corbyn section of the Party to discredit his leadership and control of the Party. What it did do was secure Labour as the lead media story for 48 hours - something they’ve rarely enjoyed since Corbyn’s election.
- FT: “The leaking of Labour’s election manifesto was a stroke of genius. In fact, it might be the first tactically smart thing Team Corbyn has done.”
- The I: “The leak may look like the product of infighting, but it is more likely to be the result of disorganisation”
- Times: “Labour candidates were in revolt last night as Jeremy Corbyn and his allies forced through a manifesto for what could amount to the biggest state intervention in more than four decades.”
2) Leeds factory challenges May
This week, Theresa May received a grilling from workers when she visited a Bi-Fold door factory in Morley, just outside Leeds. During an unfiltered question-and-answer session, one worker asked, on behalf of “all nationalities living here” if May was going to send him home. However, the question causing the greatest discomfort came from a worker asking how she would match the promises made by Corbyn: “Jeremy Corbyn is saying to put wages up to £10, that’s the only thing that is going to help us out. Other than that, nothing’s going to help us. We need money”.
In response, May claimed that Corbyn’s promises would “wreck the economy and mean less money for our NHS”.
3) Having taken on Thatcher in ‘87 and Major in ‘92, Lord Buckethead of the Gremloid party returns to take on Theresa
Since the 1950s, candidates from over 700 political parties have stood in UK parliamentary elections. Most, as you would expect, are genuine, some use it as a PR opportunity, and then there is Lord Buckethead of the Gremloids Party. First emerging to battle Margaret Thatcher in 1987, then John Major in 1992. Today it was reported that he has rematerialised to battle Theresa May in Maidenhead.
In an exclusive interview with BuzzFeed, Lord Buckethead had this to say to the people of Maidenhead: “I, Lord Buckethead, am the only candidate standing in the 2017 General Election who directly stood against Margaret Thatcher in 1987, and John Major in 1992. Now it is 25 years later, and Britain sorely needs effective opposition. So I have returned.”
It was a good week for…
Labour. Their manifesto leak/launch dominated the headlines, proved popular in the polls, wrong-footed the Tories (whose showpiece media story consisting of Michael Fallon on defence spending, flopped), and ensured that Corbyn’s views on policy is clear to the electorate.
Something he has arguably failed to achieve in two years as leader.
The best political anecdote goes to…
Theresa and Philip May talk walking holidays and bin duties on The One Show, while the Spectator ran the most eye-popping headline of the week with ‘Theresa May’s secret weapon? She exudes erotic appeal’, “we Britons have loved nothing better than a woman on top”. Suit you sir…
Corbyn puts his best foot forward with the press.