It wasn’t the speech that turned the polls around, although if Dave had not delivered a good speech it would have undermined the advance of the Tories, it was the return of the Tory party’s Unique Selling Point – tax cuts. Family-orientated tax cuts are a clear vote winner – so keen have the Tories been to decontaminate themselves that they threw away their USP. Look at Clinton, even he was elected on a promise of family-orientated tax cuts. The Cameroons have committed themselves to Gordon’s spending plans for the first three years of government, so Ed Balls is going to argue that the sums don’t add up. If that is going to be the battleground, the Tories can win on those terms.
The middle classes don’t care half as much about the arithmetic as they do about the result. Balls and Brown are so out of touch with middle-England they don’t seem to understand how much the tax burden is detested by the middle-classes, who know instinctively that there is government waste to be reduced. Tax is also the issue that swung the Daily Mail and The Telegraph back behind the Tories, The Sun is “loving it” too. The raison d ‘etre of the Conservatives party is to reduce taxes, if they ever forget it they are finished.