Ashutosh Mishra

By Ashutosh Mishra

London: As the polling day — December 12 — draws closer there are clear indications that it is going to be a close race between the Conservatives and the Labour Party. The gap between them, according to the latest Britain Elect poll, has narrowed to just seven points. Britain’s first December election is barely three weeks away.

The latest poll, held amidst intensified campaigning by the parties, found that while Prime Minister, Boris Johnson's Conservative Party continues to maintain the lead Labour has gained over the last week. The data gathered between November 22 and 25 shows that the Tories have dropped by one point to 41 per cent while Labour has jumped two points to 34 per cent.

The poll results were reported by the media even as Britain’s Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis launched an attack on Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn saying his handling of anti-Semitism in his party made him unfit for high office. Mirvis said a victory for Labour in the General Election will put the "very soul of our nation" at stake.

Stating that “a new poison” has taken hold in the party “sanctioned from the very top” he spoke about the anxiety gripping an overwhelming majority of British Jews ahead of the December 12 poll. In what appeared to be a damage control exercise a Labour party spokesperson responded to the Rabbi’s remarks saying that Corbyn had made "absolutely clear it [anti-Semitism] has no place in our party and society and that no-one who engages in it does so in his name."

Meanwhile, the latest general election poll for Wales showed a surge in support for Labour. The poll, conducted by ITV and Cardiff University between November 22 and 25 saw an increase of 9 per cent for Labour since the last such poll was carried out three weeks ago.

Significantly, the Lib Dems follow as the next biggest party nationwide, according to Britain Elect, still standing on 13 per cent this week while the Brexit Party fell by one point to four per cent. The latest figures appeared even as the Conservatives launched their manifesto with Johnson promising to focus on the National Health Service (NHS) and crime control after delivering Brexit.

While Brexit continues to hog the headlines the Conservative manifesto has been put under the lens by fact-checkers. It is drawing criticism with Labour pointing out that Prime Minister’s pledge of boosting the NHS with another 50,000 nurses was disingenuous as it included 19,000 nurses who the Tories want to retrain and another 12,000 from overseas.

As the Conservatives and Labour Party leaders engage in a verbal duel over Brexit, NHS and crime control it is obvious that the electorate is not going to take their claims and promises on face value. They will be subjected to close scrutiny and comparisons will be made. It will be a considered vote by informed voters keen to ensure that the future of the country is in safe hands. They have had enough of political tomfoolery.

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