08:46 GMT +314 December 2019
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    Pledges by Both Major Parties Ahead of General Election 'Disingenuous' – Academic

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    The Tories have outlined its manifesto ahead of the general election, with Prime Minister Johnson pledging to increase funding for the NHS and tighten immigration controls while freezing tax rates. But are these promises feasible? And do the Tories have a realistic chance of being able to win a substantial parliamentary majority come polling day?

    Dr Connal Parr, Lecturer in History at Northumbria University, believes that both parties make promises that they are unlikely to deliver fully.

    Sputnik: Are any of the spending pledges made by both the Conservatives and Labour financially feasible?

    Dr Connal Parr: It is always the case before a general election that both parties inevitably make promises that are going to be very hard to deliver on in the future, and therefore they are promising the stars, and it’s quite unlikely that much of this promised investment is actually going to come through at the end.

    Both parties claim that they’ve costed their manifestos, and there may be some things that they will deliver on, but what I do think is very interesting, is that the Conservatives are taking a different approach from previous elections, where they presented themselves as the party of probity with an insistence on maintaining austerity to preserve the public finances, but their campaign now seems much more populist, which has essentially meant that they have taken some Labour policies  on spending.

    Sputnik: Will any party be able to win a commanding majority in the general election?

    Dr Connal Parr: I don’t think that Labour under Jeremy Corbyn can win a majority. There is a possibility that they could win slightly more seats, but I feel that there is a very remote chance of that happening. Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party and perhaps Boris Johnson himself possibly could win a majority; I’ve seen projected estimates in recent days of forty-eight to fifty-six seats.

    Although the polls look good for the Conservatives now, it has possibly peaked and it could actually start moving back more towards Labour, especially seeing as there is talk of a lot of new, young voters taking part in the general election, who could be quite important in marginal seats, and this is the kind of voting profile that turned seats such as Canterbury, Kensington and Portsmouth from being quite solidly Conservative, to Labour seats, which might suggest that we are heading towards a hung parliament.

    Sputnik: How do you see the future of Brexit panning out?

    Dr Connal Parr: It will be almost impossible for Brexit to be delivered quickly, and the promise of that from any political party is really being disingenuous with people, because the reality is that many trade deals need to be negotiated with so many different countries, and the UK needs to finalise its separation with additional negotiations and agreements with the EU.

    The date of the 31st of January 2020 is a kind of marking post leading towards somewhere else, there is now way that the UK can fully break out of the EU by that time, it’s just one of the many stages in the process leading to the eventual separation, and even in the end whether that separation is completely concrete in itself, I think is very open to question.

    These are unchartered waters, and there’s a lot here that this country, the UK has never experienced before.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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