England & Wales, Scotland Democracy, devolution and governance

GE17 lite #3

Image: LGiU

You can count the days to go on your two hands and once again here is our roundup of some mildly interesting election shenanigans. Plus all the usual links to more in-depth coverage in our members’ only policy briefings and other LGiU material.

This week started with a bank holiday, but there was no day off for the party leaders who both faced Jeremy Paxman in the much touted not-a-debates. Of course there was no real agreement on who ‘won’ but there seemed to be a consensus that it wasn’t Jeremy Paxman.

Who cares?

Social care topped the election agenda for a while; it featured prominently and sometimes controversially in all three manifestos. But it now feels like it has slipped a bit. LGiU’s Ingrid Koehler takes a look at the manifesto pledges of all three parties and asks if they are falling short on social care reform. There is also a useful roundup from the King’s Fund of the main pledges and some interesting analysis from Nuffield Trust.

A poll lot of fun (again)

Can we trust the polls? Your guess is as good as ours but if you want to know what the polling industry is doing to try and make less of a hash of things than they have recently, then check out this from UK polling report. Problems were apparently caused by unrepresentative samples – put bluntly pollsters talked to too many younger people who were too engaged and too interested in politics. Have they got their samples right this year? We will only know on June 9th.

Of course you could ignore all the polls and look at the betting odds instead – they predict a Tory win still but Labour seem to be attracting more of the latest bets.

So which parties will be downsizing their MP transport after June 8th?

Well based on some calculations by Martin Baxter over at Electoral Calculus the Lib Dems will only need a motorbike and a sidecar…but then of course that all depends on how accurate those pesky polls are (see above). On the same site there is a rather fun political data map which lets you drill down from parliamentary constituency level to some census output areas within individual seats.

Names to watch in the future?

18-year-old Eli Aldridge is the Labour candidate for Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency – taking on the Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron. He is definitely Labour’s youngest candidate but he isn’t unique – Stockport Green Party has selected Robbie Lee, an 18 year old and like Eli a student, to contest the Hazel Grove seat at the 2017 General Election. Wikipedia tell us that Michael Borrows is an 18 year old UKIP candidate in Inverclyde, and that the youngest Conservative is Taylor Muir, 19, standing in Rutherglen and Hamilton West. The oldest candidate is Doris Osen, 84, of the Elderly Persons’ Independent Party (EPIC), who is standing in Ilford North

Maybe the Institute of Fiscal Studies should stand?

The Guardian reports on the IFS’s assessment of Labour and the Conservative’s spending and tax plans. Neither come out well. According to the IFS neither of the two main parties “has set out an honest set of choices” to the public over their tax and spending plans. Nor do they effectively the address the long-term challenges facing the UK. They take a critical look, for example, at the Tory focus

on cutting immigration that risked a £6 billion hit to the exchequer and on their plans for continued austerity. For Labour they are sceptical that the tax increases proposed for high earners would raise the amounts they say they would.

However – manifestos are not budget statements. These were put together in record quick time and even the IFS or the Office of Budget Responsibility don’t always get economic predictions right. Like everything else – we will have to wait and see.