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Swing Low Sweet William
13 October 2000
Because of the "first-past-the-post" electoral system that we use in Britain, it is not sufficient for a party to win votes: it has to concentrate those votes in the right places so that it can win seats. This is one of the problems facing William Hague. At the last election, Conservative votes were distributed around the country far less efficiently than were Labour votes; if there is a uniform swing across the country to the Conservatives at the next election, the Tories will need to win far more votes than Labour to become even the largest party in a hung Parliament, let alone to win an overall majority.
Votes and Taxes
14 July 2000
This week's U-turn by the Conservatives on tax has at last opened up a clear policy gap between the parties on one of the central issues in any election: the Tories are now committed to reducing the tax burden, even if this means cuts in public spending, while Labour will pursue its public spending plans, even if this means increasing taxes. This, of course, now frees the Tories for an all-out attack on tax increases under Labour without being scuppered by the reply that the figures in their own alternative do not add up.