Frustration is growing as the election campaign reaches the halfway point

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Good morning. The election campaign is half way through. More importantly, from now on, every day is someone’s voting day. All the campaigns launched their manifestos this week to do a double duty: partly to sum up what the parties put forward at the election, but also for a major spotlight. In the media, postal ballots have now begun to be delivered to people’s mailboxes.

Here are some thoughts on the state of the race and how each side feels about it.

Internal Politics edited by Harvey Nriapia Today. Read previous editions of newsletter here. Please send in your gossip, thoughts and feedback [email protected]

Lose heart

I doubt this will come as a huge shock to anyone reading this news, but the mood within the Conservative party is not good. The staff doesn’t think the campaign is going well (and neither does most everyone else).

As readers know, I like to use Ipsos Mori’s polling feature where possible as it is our oldest polling tool. That historical trend is clear: satisfaction with the government is lower now than it was in April 1997 or April 2010. Rishi Sunak continues to be extremely unpopular both in terms of comparison (i.e. he (he is significantly more unpopular than Keir Starmer) and in absolute terms (i.e. he is polling worse than John Major in 1997 and as bad as Jeremy Corbyn in 2019).

In addition, the Tory party also has a manifesto that makes many people in the party think not provided enough red meat on the right; a party machine demoralized by gaffes and the appearance of the party chair parachuted into one of the party’s safest seats; and that’s because Sunak ambushed his side with a snap election, spent too much in the final days before the UK’s tight pre-election spending limits come into force.

Advertisements of Labor Party candidates flooded Facebook and Instagram before Parliament was dissolved and per-candidate spending limits were imposed

EQUAL The FT revealed it earlier this week, the Conservative campaign is now moving to warn voters of a Labor landslide. In my view, this is the best strategy they have available, given the decisions they have made since Boris Johnson was forced out.

As George Parker explains in an excellent great read, the Conservatives’ political predicament has been building for a long time – and while in my view Sunak has done some things to make the problem worse, the problem didn’t start with him and it will never be resolved tactfully. campaign. (Though it doesn’t help that the campaign isn’t going so well anymore.)

The voters they have the best chance of winning back – undecided former Conservative voters – are at odds with the party on many fronts. But fundamentally they really dislike Keir Starmer and the Labor Party. Sunak cannot compete with Nigel Farage on immigration, he is not trusted on taxes and voters generally have a low opinion of his party.

But the Conservatives have more chance of winning back these voters by warning them of a Labor landslide than by any form of positive policy offering.

The mood within the SNP is also depressed. Like the Conservative Party, they are in trouble as they have been in power for a long time, they are still feeling the consequences of two quick leadership changes, and their finances are not great. (Simeon Kerr has written an excellent in-depth article about The SNP’s tight campaign.)

But the big difference is that most people I talk to in the SNP think the party is doing the best possible job given the circumstances – which is not true of most people I talk to in the Conservatives .

As for the Liberal Democrats, I have said almost all I have to say about their campaign. earlier this week. Their mood was quite cheerful, as you would expect.

On the Labor side, the party leadership said Sunak’s manifesto revealed his desperation; they hope that their own manifesto, which does not contain many surprises, will be seen as a contrast to it. In the Labor Party manifesto (launched today), the party will stress the importance of driving UK growth and the green transition, aiming to reassure as many people as possible. (As Robert Shrimsley said in his column yesterday, Labour’s battle cry is essentially “What do we want? Big change. When do we want it? Over the next 10 years with modest increases.”)

In terms of what could change the course of this election, Labour’s manifesto is the last predictable event that could happen – one way or another.

Now try this

I plan to reach a higher level of self-parody at the BFI tonight, where I’ll be watching the return screening Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take one. It’s a 1968 film, nominally about a couple in crisis, in which a documentary crew debates and discusses the best way to make the film. It features Miles Davis on the soundtrack.

Top stories today

Below are the Financial Times’ live UK opinion polls, incorporating voting intention surveys published by major British pollsters. Visit the FT’s poll tracking page to find out Our methodology and exploration of poll data by demographics including age, gender, region, etc.

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