So it’s finally here, May 6th, Election Day. It seems that with all the media coverage over the last 4 weeks that it was never going to get here, and seems that the political parties have been campaigning for years and not months.
There are 42000 polling stations opening their doors across the UK as I type to await the registered voters to turn up and mark a cross in a box. What has been surprising during this election campaign is the reaction to the three TV debates that were aired that have brought about a big rise in the popularity of the Liberal Democrats due to Nick Clegg’s success in the TV debates. When I say success this is based on the polls of who “won” the TV debates, which is more like winning a beauty contest or personality contest.
Is the next leader of the UK to be based on who has the most groomed appearance or who can rehearse their speech the best? On the news last night they were doing sound bites with factory workers in Yorkshire and one guy said exactly what I was thinking that the leader of the UK needs to be tough and to be able to make the right decisions. It doesn’t matter what the Prime Minister looks like as long as he is going to run the country well.
It seems a bit odd to be backing the Labour party but even though my vote in my historically Conservative constituency won’t really swing the end result there are a few reasons why I’ll be voting Labour. Firstly a vote for the Liberal Democrats will be a wasted vote. There are still only 2 major parties, Labour and Conservatives and even these 2 parties are struggling for a majority. When you see all the polls reporting their statistics and you see Conservatives on about 36% and the Lib Dems and Labour on around 28%, what does this mean? It’s much more important to look at what this equates to in the number of seats, and even though Lib Dems seem to be doing well they are only expected to gain about 80 seats compared to Labour with around 240. This is because even though Lib Dems are a populate choice then tend to come in second place. Should the result of the election be based on the overall number of votes received rather than the count of seats gained?
Anyway, people can always moan about the country, whether it’s the economy, the war, the NHS, education, the taxes or whether they like the leader or not. We’re never satisfied in the UK and are big moaners. But it’s often ignored of all the things the Labour party have brought into the country. First the biggest issue at the moment is the economy, and it has to be reiterated that every country is in a similar situation after the global financial crisis. But what is important is how the recession has been dealt with and the plan to keep backing the recovery. Personally I think Gordon Brown, being a strong economist, has lead the country in the right way through it, firstly by rescuing the banks and protecting savers, getting interest rates to rock bottom to help home owners and reduce the cost of borrowing. Yes there is a large deficit in the country’s borrowing but there will always be a deficit. Other things the Labour party have done is bring in a reduced income tax bands, and most importantly brought in the minimum wage (which Conservatives opposed) and the Family Tax Credits that have helped working families with childcare costs.
The Conservatives have got plans to cut public spending to reduce the deficit …well I’m glad I don’t work in the public sector and to also reduce the Family Tax Credits. But what they are planning to do is reduce Inheritance Tax and give some tax free level for the richest people. Hmmm I wonder why they are doing that, is it because the Conservative front bench are all extremely wealthy with big inheritances in the offing? Some of the Conservative policies are very similar to Labour, but to me they are not a party who really know what is going on in the UK as they haven’t had the personal experience of real life with their Eton upbringing. Their biggest hitter in the media is to scrap the planned rise in National Insurance that the Labour party are planning to bring in. It’s a measly 1% rise in National Insurance that will only slightly affect take home pay and only slightly affect the current National Insurance that businesses have to pay for their staff. (whatever NI that you pay the employer pays the same, this is the same for PAYE tax too). I’d rather have a tiny rise in NI contributions to help the economy recover than to have a sweeping rise in income tax.
And don’t get me started on Immigration when the Conservatives think they can introduce a cap to the number of people entering the country, but won’t say what the cap is. Then the Lib Dems who are going to set up an amnesty for all the illegal immigrants currently in the country so that they can officially become part of the country and bring their family to the UK too … what! No one seems to look at the entire picture and remember that when the borders of the EU opened up it meant for free movement for any EU citizen to wherever they wanted. So we have an immigration problem, but doesn’t that say something about what sort of country we live in, the country that everyone wants to come to?
Well by tomorrow morning it will all be revealed how people have actually voted once they get into the polling station. It’s expected that it will be a hung parliament and then we have to wait for a decision to be made as who is going to form the majority.