Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Labour's recovery is based substantially on the germinal economic recovery, which is the number one issue concerning voters - 56% say it's one of their top three issues (see figures). But issue number two is - disgracefully, and entirely New Labour's fault - asylum and immigration, with 43% saying it's a top three issue. That issue will almost certaily be prominently pushed in the marginals, where it might actually trump the economy with some middle class voters. And the marginal constituencies are where the Tories need to make gains, not in Labour 'heartlands' where its support is slightly hardening in response to the naked class aggression in Tory policies. The reactionary think-tank MigrationWatch UK got Yougov to carry out a push-poll in the key marginals for Labour and Liberals in the coming election, and it basically found that most of those voters are hysterical over the issue of immigration, trust the Tories most to handle the issue, and would be more likely to vote for any party that promised severe crackdowns. We will undoubtedly see cack-handed attempts by Liberals and Labour to pander to such bigotry, but only the right-wing parties can benefit from this game, and in the marginals the beneficiaries will be the Tories.
Of course, a lot can happen between now and election day. The Greek general strikes may presage a broader European labour insurgency against austerity measures being pushed through by mainstream parties, as the Indie claims today. Anything that pushes the economy and public opposition to spending cuts to the top of the agenda can damage the Tories - unless, of course, that 'thing' is a speculative attack or a new lurch into negative growth. But at the moment, the figures still point to a Tory majority come 6 May.