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) “This is the Place”
Campaigning was rightfully put on hold this week following the devastating Manchester bombing. You all would have followed the coverage and read the outrage, but if you have yet to see Tony Walsh’s (otherwise known as ‘Longfella’) homage to Manchester: “This is the Place” at the vigil on Tuesday, we recommend you click on this link.
It’s a powerful message on community and ‘northern soul’.
2) May’s (9th) U-Turn is Now an Issue
May’s Monday U-turn on social care occurred only 4 days after her much-vaunted manifesto launch. It wasn’t simply the manner of the change of heart, but the growing perception this is a recurring theme and counter to her Strong and Stable doctrine. Even disengaged voters (and there are millions in that category) may start to notice.
The FT calculated 9 U-turns in under a year, for the first time, May is having to answer questions on her leadership style.
- FT: “Theresa May’s 9 U-turns - the prime minister is making a habit of retreating from policies”
- The Times: “The U-turn on social care is symptomatic of a leadership style that ranks the views of her inner circle above the facts”
- Spectator: “Could Theresa May blow this general election?”
3) New poll has Conservative lead cut to 5-points
Take this with a pinch of salt of course (polling hasn't exactly done itself any favours in recent years), but the latest YouGov research released this morning shows that Labour has cut the lead to 5-points, the closest since 2015. If this carries through to the final 2 weeks of the campaign and is mirrored in local seats, the Conservative majority in the House of Commons could be down to 2 MPs.
Was it really just the other week we were predicting a Blair like 179 majority? May’s election gamble (I can’t believe I’m typing that), might yet turn out to be a mistake.
IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR...
When even Manchester United and Manchester City unite on a subject, you know it’s important.
IT WAS A BAD WEEK FOR...
UKIP, the go to cause célèbre of any election period.
Launching their manifesto against all political wisdom following the Manchester attack (whilst others hold back out of respect), wilfully stating: “Theresa May shares the blame for Manchester” to the awaiting press, before finally showing their caring side by standing up for Muslim women across the UK – banning the Bhurka so they can receive a daily dose of Vitamin D.
THE BEST POLITICAL ANECDOTE GOES TO...
Just last week we highlighted that Corbyn’s birthday was coming up (today in fact!) and that he would be turning 68 - the age he himself has declared as the right time to retire.
With true media impartiality, The Sun delivered a birthday Cake to Labour HQ today (left), I’m not sure if Corbyn would see the funny side…