With a poll lead slumping to its lowest for more than six months, Boris Johnson will be more worried about the summer than a Keir Starmer scenting fresh opportunity.
The YouGov Tory lead being down to 4% from 13% is a deflating vaccine bubble as vaccinated voters recoil at the breath-taking incompetence and selfishness of a thoughtless, arrogant Prime Minister.
Johnson’s them and us divide, regarding himself and his elite circle to be above laws imposed on the little people, finally appears to be hitting home.
Nobody likes to be taken for a mug and find the joke was on them, and Johnson’s pledges are as sincere as solemn vows to two ex-wives and a string of mistresses.
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Universal Credit not Covid may prove Starmer’s second chance after surviving a near-death experience in Batley and Spen.
The pingdemic, holiday chaos, VIP deals for Tory donors and free passes for the Conservative chumocracy all undermine confidence in a work experience Premier.
Yet maybe more than paying clapped nurses with contempt, this Autumn’s seizure of £20 a week Universal Credit from five million claimants, many grafting in low-paid jobs, will destroy the Johnson myth.
Pushing down instead of levelling up exposes a cynical pretence to care about those struggling. Starmer knows this, Labour must hammer it home.
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Household costs are if anything higher now than they were last year when the Universal Credit uplift was introduced, plunging back into poverty those temporarily hauled out by it. For a quarter of recipients, those £20s are a fifth of their entitlements.
Mercifully fewer voters fall for the workshy, undeserving smears in the DNA of a Tory Party doling wealthfare for the PM’s cronies.
Johnson’s more vulnerable than he realises. Lose the poll lead and he’ll no longer be able to float above disasters.
All political careers end in failure. It’s just a matter of when.