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By Frank McKenna

By Frank McKenna

Have the Tories really thrown the towel in already?

Have the Tories already waved the ‘white flag’ for this election?

I wrote last week about the dangers I saw of a landslide victory for Labour.

Little did I expect the Conservative Party to replicate that narrative in their campaigning narrative and material this week.

With still three weeks to go before polling day, the Prime Minister, the defence minister, and social media ads from Conservative Central HQ have been pleading with people not to give the Tories their vote so that they can continue to govern – but to support them in order for Keir Starmer to be denied a ‘Super-Majority’.

It is a quite remarkable tactic for a ruling party to adopt – but it does fit in with their strategy of protecting the Conservative ‘core vote’. There are still many ‘don’t knows’ among former Tory supporters, so if they can persuade at least some of them to swap their couch for the polling booth on 4th July, then Rishi Sunak’s team reckon they could ‘save’ around twenty Tory seats.

The downside and danger of this approach, however, is twofold.

First, many ‘floating’ voters do like to support the winner. This was clearly demonstrated after the 1997 General Election, when an additional million people than had voted for Tony Blair told pollsters that they did so.

Second, there is enough evidence to suggest that many voters do want to see the Tories punished and humiliated for what they see as a chaotic time for the country. Telling people that this is a possible outcome on election day may not have the desired affect that Tory strategists are hoping for.

Nevertheless, with a catastrophic campaign that has included a ‘washout’ launch, the PM leaving the D-day commemorations early, and his admission that his greatest sacrifice as a child was not having Sky TV, I’m guessing that many Conservatives feel that they have nothing to lose.

All that being said, Labour have still not clinched the deal as far as they are concerned – and if a week is a long time in politics, then three weeks is an eternity.

However, only a brave bookie would offer odds against a Keir Starmer win now – but the margin of that victory is still open to question.  

Downtown in Business

The Tory psychodrama continues…

The contrast between new government and new opposition could not be starker. Frank McKenna reflects on a week that saw the return of the grown-ups to Downing Street, as the Tory psychodrama continues.

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