Socialist Worker

Tories look neither strong nor stable after TV audience puts May on the defensive

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2556

Theresa May arriving for her interview on Monday night

Theresa May arriving for her interview on Monday night (Pic: Press Association)


Theresa May ditched her “strong and stable” rhetoric during a TV election special last night, Monday, and returned to scaremongering about Brexit.

A Tory crisis has forced May to change her election strategy. Several opinion polls over the past week have shown that the Tory lead over Labour is falling.

Until now she has largely avoided defending her policies in public—and Monday night showed why.

Theresa May cant hide from questions and protests
Theresa May can't hide from questions and protests
  Read More

May failed to answer questions about funding cuts to services including the NHS and schools. Instead she denied that cuts were a problem.

One midwife wasn’t impressed.

“I see a lot of efficiency savings that are actually cuts,” she said. “I see hospitals closing. I see staff that are at their wits’ end because they can’t give the care that they want to give.”

May attacked Labour’s manifesto in response to a question on school funding cuts. The audience simply laughed at her, with one woman heard to say, “You’ve clearly failed.”

When asked about her “dementia tax” she blathered about Britain being an ageing society, ignoring the central role Tory cuts to health and social care budgets have played in fuelling a care crisis.

She refused to say how winter fuel payments would be means-tested or what the cap for social care payments would be.

May wants to present herself as the best person to negotiate Brexit. She hopes to scare people into backing her by claiming that a poor deal will harm working class people.

But she just wants to get the best trade deal for Britain’s bosses so they can continue to make profits. Her real agenda is not to help ordinary people—she admitted there will be “difficult choices” ahead.

Winner

The Labour leader emerged as the clear winner from Monday’s TV interviews. Even the right wing Spectator magazine praised Corbyn’s performance.

A few days before, the horrible right winger Rod Liddle wrote in the magazine, “I am trying to remember if there was ever a worse Conservative election campaign that this current dog’s breakfast—and failing.”

Backing for the Tories has been falling in the polls since they launched their manifesto earlier this month.

As election day draws closer, shrinking poll gap reveals a radical path to Labour victory
As election day draws closer, shrinking poll gap reveals a radical path to Labour victory
  Read More

A new poll by Survation this week put Labour on 37 percent—six points behind the Tories and three points better than a week ago.

Support for Corbyn is also going up. Some 30 percent told the poll he would make the best prime minister—up nine points on a poll taken on 5 and 6 May.

And some reports claim that Tory sources expect Labour to overtake them in the polls by the time of the election on 8 June.

On one level it suits May to talk up the threat from Labour to push Tory supporters get out and vote. And the Tories remain in the lead.

But the election campaign began with those on the right—and some on the left—ridiculing the idea that Corbyn could be elected prime minister. It doesn’t look so far-fetched any more.


If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.