Lessons for Gordon and Dave

NZ Labour ran on exactly Gordon’s U.S.P.*, and it didn’t work. The voters in New Zealand overwhelmingly disagreed with Labour’s message, change and tax cuts won big in New Zealand. The “novice” promising tax cuts won.

Danny Finkelstein says voters don’t believe politician’s promises of tax cuts, Fink argues there is a credibility issue. John Key’s first manifesto pledge gave the three actual dates he would cut personal taxes for New Zealanders, a promise to take to the bank. His party won big.

Obama, another novice, ran promising tax cuts for 95% of Americans. The “novice” promising tax cuts won.

The incoherent Tory response to the financial crisis is manifestly weak, Osborne’s performance has disheartened even his own supporters, the lack of a clear message has weakened their credibility on economic issues significantly in the polls. Maybe Michael Ashcroft will have learnt something useful during his recent time with the NZ Nats that will influence the Tories for the better.

Times have changed, voters want the pendulum to swing back from spending towards tax cuts. Rumours are circulating in the Westminster Village that Gordon and Alastair are preparing to announce tax cuts. Which will, even if they are only rhetorical tax cuts, in a stroke make Dave and George look ridiculous as both Labour and the LibDems promise tax cuts and the Tories are left high and dry stranded on the high tax centre ground with only Danny Finkelstein for company. The old strategy may have been strategically right during the decontamination phase of Cameron’s leadership, it is so wrong for now. The recent electoral lessons from the rest of the English speaking world show that to “seal the deal” people now need a positive reason to vote for the Tories.

See also: NZ Nats Tax Calculator.

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