New Labour is no more! The Greens are getting more media attention, and we all know about the inexplicable rise of UKIP. The party that gifts us gaffes every other day, but whose popularity hasn’t suffered in any meaningful way (yet). The Conservatives seem to be flitting from one attack strategy to another, in order to try and breathe life into their hopes to cement an unlikely majority in two weeks. The SNP have decided they are taking Scotland, even if it is in the Union.
The economic argument is one of the biggest differences between the parties as the IFS has identified. While it is true to say that the parties all want to decrease borrowing, they want to decrease borrowing at different rates, and will have different strategies for dealing with such a task. While Labour wants to raise taxes, for instance raising the 50p tax rate, creating a mansion tax and creating a tobacco levy. These taxes would contribute towards helping to fund extra public spending which Labour plan. The Conservatives however, according to the IFS, are giving away money in tax cuts while cutting the deficit much more quickly, leaving debt as a share of national income at only 72% in 2019-2020, compared to the current 80% rate. The Conservatives and Labour do offer a real difference, while they both want to protect school funding, the NHS, and foreign aid; they offer a substantially different ideological way of cutting the deficit. It is an ideological battle not seen since 1992.
The Conservatives and Labour are not the only parties which can or will make a difference in the election. The SNP are currently in danger of making Scotland a one party state, marking out territory which was Labour’s heartland. Many people thought that Labour could never be kicked out of Scotland, but they’re not just being kicked out, but chased by the tartan army wielding pitchforks. If Lord Ashcroft’s polling is correct even, Jim Murphy and Douglas Alexander’s seats are in serious danger. Yellow peril is at the door for all the parties in the Westminster.
The parallel of the SNP and Labour agreement is a Conservative, Lib Dem, UKIP, and DUP potential pact. UKIP is becoming the second party of the north for many people, and while many may not like them, they are offering an almost fresh voice in British politics. While much of it is recycled, the party still has a libertarian edge which sometimes comes out. Scenes, such as a Parliamentary candidate also being a porn star, are rare in politics and are to be welcomed, given the fact that UKIP simply said the porn star candidate’s work shouldn’t dictate whether he can or cannot stand for Parliament.
The Greens are a party which are present, but are not going to have an impact in Parliament. Natalie Bennett has been a car crash from day one. The IFS have argued that the Greens claims that they will suddenly manage to create billions from clamping down on tax avoidance are, to say the least, ‘fanciful’.. Rather than Ms Bennett actively debating the IFS, she just dismissed them outright, despite having no professional background in economics herself. The Greens are mopping up much of the student vote, however this will not sustain them for long, and soon they will need to be more credible if they want to gain ground in electoral contests.
Whatever people say about this election, there is a choice! New Labour is gone, the Conservatives are as they always have been, and we now see the emergence of new parties with something different to say. The election results will be turbulent, but for the first time in many decades, people will have a genuine choice in what kind of country they want. I hope people make use of it.
By Sam Mace, Senior Writer for Daily Political View.