Theresa May’s attack on the elderly looked to have backfired yesterday after a poll said Labour have halved the Tories’ lead.
The Survation survey put May only nine points ahead of Jeremy Corbyn . The Tories fell five points to 43 per cent in just a week while Labour were up five to 34 per cent.
The Labour surge came as Tory welfare secretary Damian Green squirmed over his party’s plans to impose a “dementia tax” on old folk and slash winter fuel payments.
The BBC’s Andrew Marr skewered him for subjecting Labour’s manifesto to heavy scrutiny when the Tories’ own document was uncosted.
Work and Pensions Secretary Green insisted the Tories would not relent on their plan to make the elderly pay after death for their social care with the money in their homes.
He added that they wanted to focus winter fuel cash on those most in need.
Then he told old folk they would have to wait until after the election to find out if they will lose out – and if so, by how much.
Devolution will spare Scots pensioners from May’s onslaught, but a growing backlash in England could affect the election result.
The 1034 adults polled by Survation were more likely to say Labour had the best policies for older people, with 37 per cent backing Corbyn’s plans. The Tories were seen as better for higher earners (59 per cent) and on managing the economy (48).
The Scottish Labour manifesto, out today, will pledge to keep winter fuel payments, free bus passes for all over-60s and the “triple lock” on pension increases, which May wants to scrap.
Deputy leader Alex Rowley said: “With 45 per cent of pensioner households in fuel poverty, the SNP and Tory governments should be doing more to help older people heat their homes.
“Instead, Theresa May wants to wield the axe to fuel payments in England and Ruth Davidson doesn’t have a clue how that will affect payments in Scotland.”
The SNP say they will keep winter fuel payments and free personal care for the elderly.
He’s been written off by almost everyone but Jeremy Corbyn continues to confound his critics.
Two polls yesterday showed Labour are closing the gap on Theresa May ’s Tories after the publication of the respective UK manifestos.
They both put Labour comfortably above the 30.4% share of the vote achieved by Ed Miliband in 2015
Boris Johnson falsely claimed his promise to give £350m a week to the NHS was in the Tory Manifesto during a live TV interview.
And he was humiliatingly caught by presenter Robert Peston trying to sneak a look at his notes at the beginning of the interview.
Even fellow Tory MP Sir Nicholas Soames was heard branding the Foreign Secretary a ‘rotter’ in the car-crash TV moment.
Quote of the Day
“You will have a very clear choice this election – a Poundland Thatcher peddling the same old Tory lies and broken promises. Or a Labour campaigner who finally looks like a leader. Things did get better under Labour. They can get better again if we make June the end of May” – Labour’s Lord (John) Prescott, former deputy Prime Minister, backing Jeremy Corbyn.
Cringe of the Day
Tory welfare secretary Damian Green was roundly mocked for his appearance on the Andrew Marr show, which brought several awkward moments for the Work and Pensions Secretary.
After slamming the financial pledges in Labour’s costed manifesto but then couldn’t give answer about any of the “black holes” in his own party’s blueprint.
Respect for Jo Cox
Scotland’s politicians set aside their differences yesterday to mark the death of MP Jo Cox.
Campaigning ceased for an hour as the major parties made a show of solidarity in Edinburgh.
Jo, 41, was killed by Kilmarnock-born Thomas Mair in her Batley and Spen constituency in Yorkshire last June.
Her husband Brendan said she would be incredibly touched by the UK-wide response and suspending campaigns sent a message that “whatever our political disagreements, we really do hold more in common and show a united front against hatred and extremism in all forms”.
He said Jo would love the idea that her killer’s attempt to divide communities has actually brought them together.
Young Scots feel alienated
Young people in Scotland are half as likely to feel they have the option to vote for someone who “understands their life” compared to over-65s, a new poll has found.
The poll by BMG Research for the Electoral Reform Society Scotland found a generation gap in how people feel about voting ahead of the General Election on June 8.
Young people were most likely of any age group to discuss politics but felt alienated from the political system.
The poll found only 26% of 16 to 24-year-olds feel they have the option to vote for someone who “understands their life” compared to half of the over-65s.
The younger age group was most likely of all ages to say they talk about how to make their community a better place to live and the most likely to discuss politics with friends and family at 50% and 64% respectively, compared 33% and 43% for over-65s.
A majority of 16 to 24-year-olds, (65%) said they want technology to be used to “give more power to citizens” compared with 40% of over-65s.
Electoral Reform Society Scotland spokesman Jonathon Shafi said action had to be taken to tackle the “dangerous generation gap”.
He said: “This polling tells us that young people are far from apathetic. It is striking that they appear to discuss national politics and making improvements to their community or town more than their older counterparts.
“But it is also telling that they feel that politicians don’t understand their lives. We know that older people tend to vote more, but we also see that young people want to embrace technology to give citizens more power.
“What’s important about this is that young people appear to want to be able to connect their general political awareness and interest with power and decision-making.
“We have a generation who understand the impact of politics on their lives, but feel they need better tools to engage with it. A more deliberative approach to our democracy would aid this – involving citizens at every level in decision-making would go a long way to bringing people of all ages closer to politics.
“Alongside other reforms to improve our democracy, we have the chance to close this dangerous generation gap before it becomes unbridgeable.”
The poll surveyed 10,35 Scottish residents aged 16 and over between May 5 and 11.
Big hits start to make a dent in Nicola’s steely exterior
Sturgeon came away from the first Scottish leaders’ debate having taken some of the biggest hits of her career as First Minister.
In the aftermath of the independence referendum, there was little Sturgeon could do wrong in public.
Every mention of being “stronger for Scotland” raised applause from a partisan crowd.
But clearly the atmosphere has changed.
Now the criticisms of her Government’s record came hard and fast – from a nurse, from teachers, herded and encouraged by the other party leaders.
Sturgeon could have expected the pro-UK parties to gang up on her, as they are all depending on tactical unionist votes.
But there was nothing strategic from the audience.
Largely, they just went for her.
Sturgeon gave a good account of herself but when the nurse accused her of not listening, you suspected many of the audience weren’t listening to the excuses either.
Sturgeon is battle hardened and a veteran political warrior – but for the first time, she has tasted what it is like to come out the worst from a fight.
The shields are still in place but the armour is dented.
There must be a feeling that the focus groups coming back referring to her as “that woman” are echoing the public mood.