Cameron to ‘let rip’ in votes push

Published: Thursday 30th April 2015 by The News Editor

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David Cameron has pledged to “let rip” in the final push for votes as his Conservative Party won the formal endorsement of The Sun newspaper with just a week to go until polling stations open across the UK.

Despite a full month of campaigning, more than four in 10 people are yet to make up their minds who to back in the General Election, the latest opinion poll suggested – and the main parties remain deadlocked.

As party leaders prepare for tonight’s final televised set-piece before the May 7 contest, Ed Miliband will urge people to “put your families first” and ignore “false promises” from the Conservatives.

It came as the Tories faced mounting pressure to detail where £12 billion of planned welfare cuts would fall if they were in power after a senior Liberal Democrat went public with what he said had been his coalition partner’s plans for an additional £8 billion squeeze in 2012.

Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander said he was revealing the proposals – including a dramatic squeeze on child benefit and child tax credits that were blocked by the Lib Dems – because the Tories were ” trying to con the British people by keeping their planned cuts secret”.

He said: “They may give with one hand but they will take away twice as much as with the other.

Mr Cameron, who has in recent days deployed a more energetic approach after criticism of a lacklustre pitch to the electorate, told the Guardian it was ” time to throw caution to the winds, let rip and tell people what you really think”.

He said: “I think we will get there. But the reason it is taking time is, quite rightly, people want to have a good look and a good think.”

A ComRes poll for the Daily Mail found 41% were not certain which party they would eventually support, suggesting there remains a huge number of people open to persuasion.

It showed Labour gaining three points to draw level with the Tories on 35%, down one.

Conservatives were buoyed by the Sun’s public declaration of support – most notably the newspaper’s exhortation to readers tempted by Ukip to reconsider or risk “bringing a Labour/SNP nightmare closer by eroding Tory chances”.

Despite the warning about the influence of the Scottish nationalists, its Scottish edition came out in favour of the SNP, which some polls have on track to score heavy gains north of the border at Labour’s expense.

Mr Miliband will hit back with a warning that they have just seven days to stop a Conservative victory which would benefit the wealthiest while squeezing family budgets.

“David Cameron will do anything he can to distract you from the real choice,” he will say.

“He wants to distract you by banging on about deals with other parties after the election because he has nothing to say about the real issues in this election: the NHS, immigration, family living standards, and the future of our children.

“Britain can’t afford five more years of wasted talent and ruined futures.”

The Labour leader will take 30 minutes of questions from a special BBC Question Time audience between similar live sessions for Mr Cameron and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg.

Each party’s supporters will make up a quarter of the audience, with 15% drawn from the ranks of those supporting smaller outfits and 10% from those yet to make up their minds.

Ukip’s Nigel Farage, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon and Leanne Wood of Plaid Cymru will take part in smaller-scale individual events broadcast exclusively in England, Scotland and Wales respectively.

Ahead of the debate, Mr Cameron will make a pitch for the youth vote, claiming a million under-30s have already been taken out of the income tax system by rises in the personal allowance and another 500,000 to follow by 2020 .

Launching a Five Point Guarantee for young people at an event in Yorkshire, Mr Cameron will promise that by 2020 disadvantaged young people will be twice as likely to enter higher education than under Labour.

It comes after Mr Miliband sought to harness the YouTube generation with a controversial interview with comedian-turned-activist Russell Brand, which Mr Cameron said was “a joke”.

The potential influence of younger votes was highlighted by a poll suggesting as many as 60% of 18-24 year olds are expressing themselves certain to vote.

In an encouraging sign for Mr Cameron, w hile the age group favoured Labour by 34% to 23%, according to YouGov research for the British Youth Council, the gap had narrowed from 36% to 19% in a similar survey in February.

Published: Thursday 30th April 2015 by The News Editor

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