Public Policy

December 6, 2019

THE UK VOTES: WEEK 5

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This time next week we’ll know if Boris Johnson is staying in Downing Street or if Jeremy Corbyn is readying to be received by the Queen. With one week of the campaign left, it’s all still to play for. The Conservatives are maintaining their lead of about 10 points but with undecided and swing voters making up their minds Labour appears to be slowly closing the gap – the question is, will it be enough to stop Boris Johnson winning the majority he craves?

Having heeded the lessons from 2017, Boris Johnson has played it safe and made himself a small target looking to avoid anything that might create the kind of headlines an incumbent PM in an election campaign doesn’t want to read… perfect timing, then, for US President Donald Trump to come to town. The US President joined other NATO country leaders for the 70th Anniversary of NATO. Johnson’s team in Number Ten and at Conservative Campaign Headquarters will be glad the American President (and his Twitter feed) managed to steer clear of the General Election campaign keeping (relatively) to script and that the Prime Minister managed to avoid uber chummy photos with the President alone in public.

National security featured high on the agenda this week with all the NATO nations restating their commitment to the institution and pledging to increase defence spending. On the campaign trail, meanwhile, Boris Johnson attempted to paint Jeremy Corbyn as weak on defence and security while Corbyn stated that he only wanted to reassess the role of NATO in the world.

Looking ahead, Johnson and Corbyn will take each other on in the final head-to head debate of the campaign on the BBC tonight before using the last week to travel the country and make their final pitches to undecided voters. With newly leaked Treasury documents detailing the negative economic impact of Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal on Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, Corbyn will be hoping to close the gap further. This time next week we’ll know if he did.

The week that was Week 5

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