Well the waiting is over, and the election is finally upon us. We’ve been in election mode ever since the summer of 2007 when Gordon Brown took over as Prime Minister and famously “bottled out” of an snap election.
The Lib Dems start the campaign from about 20% in the polls – pretty similar to this time in 2005.
I suspect that we will be the main beneficiaries of the leaders debates, and so there is every chance of us picking up significantly over the next few weeks.
The election is going to be dominated by the economy and how the different parties will deal with the deficit that Gordon Brown has accumulated.
We are already seeing cuts here in South Manchester – the Labour Council has decided to close Ewing School and the Burnage Walk-in centre has been shut. Locally the question that voters need to ask is who will fight to protect local services and who will be on the side of local people.
Where were the local Labour Party when the Labour Council voted through the closure of Ewing School? Well actually they were supporting it! And where were Labour when Burnage walk-in centre was closed? Who knows, because they stayed silent.
Labour are spinning a line about saving local services, but they are either responsible for closing them, or they have done nothing to save them.
Alistair Darling has admitted that Labour cuts will be more savage than cuts under Margaret Thatcher, but he won’t admit where those cuts will be made. Why won’t he come clean on where the axe will fall?
During the interview we talked about what will be the deciding factor on May 6th, and as I have stated before I feel the next election will be judged on who will stand up to protect local services. I stand by my record of action fighting for south Manchester over the last five years.
My three election pledges are:
1. Protecting local services against cuts, it is vital our valuable local services are maintained and protected.
2. Fighting to get Manchester’s £82 million back , that should have been invested in the police to get us more bobbies on the beat
3. Fairness Agenda, four key themes: