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Saturday, May 05, 2012

Going it alone

News websites have a fair smattering of articles such as this one today, in which some random Tory MP demands that the Prime Minister rediscover his conservative roots, ditch the Liberal Democrats or just applies a little discipline to the boy Clegg in an effort to reverse their party's decline in the polls.

What they are succeeding in doing of course is highlighting how strong the Liberal Democrat influence is on the Government, moderating the worse aspects of Toryism and ensuring that key tax cutting policies for low earners remain in place. It is shame that the country at large do not appear to be listening.

What is most puzzling is how little these Tory MPs are listening to their electorate themselves. The biggest factor on the doorsteps, which persuaded Liberal Democrats and Conservative voters to stay at home on Thursday was the cut in the top rate in income tax to 45% which the Tories insisted on.

Those Tory MPs who want to continue with these sort of policies rather than the Liberal Democrat aim of taking poorer people out of income tax altogether, really need to get out more.
I regard it as a 5% increase in the top rate of tax, considering that the 50% rate was not permanent.
Surely it is not a case of the public not listening to claims of how Lib Dems are moderating the worst aspect of toryism but more like not believing a word of it. As for stay-at-home supporters, it was the u-turn on tuition fees that remained the big issue on the doorstep. I strongly suspect that it will be just as embedded in voters come 2015.
I can only speak from my own experience. Tuition fees were mentioned once or twice but most people were concerned with the budget.
From my experiences throughout the past few months, the level of income tax has had very little impact on many people and was of little interest to them. The biggest issue which many of those that I spoke to the movement away from "Conservative" values.

Please note that I do not particularly agree with this view point, but that was what many passed on to me!
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