Labour put in the hard work: and it paid off

A quick look at the UK general election and how support for the Labour party has skyrocketed against all odds, allowing them to close the gap and giving Jeremy Corbyn a realistic shot at becoming Prime Minister

 

Opinion_polling_UK_2020_election_short_axis
The performance of various political parties in the polls leading up to the UK general election. The Conservative and Labour parties are represented by the blue and red lines respectively.

When Theresa May called for a snap election on the 18th of April, the Conservatives were as much as 19 points ahead of the Labour party in some polls.  Much has changed since then, with a recent poll concluding that Labour is only one point behind the Conservatives. Let’s take a look of some of the highlights of the pre-election campaigning in order to pinpoint the areas in which Labour excelled and those in which the Conservatives fell short.

 

The first points for comparison are the manifestos proposed by each party. The Labour manifesto included many bold changes, such as abolishing university tuition fees and introducing four new public holidays. These changes were undoubtedly appealing to voters.

On the other side of the coin, one of the points within the Conservatives’ manifesto involved a concept which has been dubbed ‘dementia tax’. The consequences of this could involve elderly people being forced to sell their homes in order to cover the costs of their social care. This proposed change sparked a heated media reaction, undoubtedly causing the Conservatives to lose a number of supporters.

Labour has consistently been regarded as the ‘party of the people’. This was truer than ever during this campaign, with thousands of people showing their support for the party via monetary donations.  What’s interesting to note is that over a period of two weeks during the campaign, the average donation to the Labour party was £22, while the average donation to the Conservative party was £60,000, perpetuating the stereotype that the Conservative party is backed by extremely wealthy donors.

Doctors and nurses of the NHS (National Health Service) have been criticising the Conservative party through websites such as Facebook, encouraging people to vote for the Labour party so that healthcare funding can be increased, another major blow to the Conservative party.

The nail in the coffin for the Conservatives was perhaps Theresa May’s refusal to participate in a major television debate after Jeremy Corbyn invited her to do so. This made her look weak, as if she is unable to defend her party’s views. Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn’s approval ratings have improved since the beginning of the campaign: it seems as if people are warming up to him.

It is for these reasons and many more that the Labour party has been able to close the gap against the Conservatives; I wouldn’t be surprised if they go on to win a majority.

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