James Forsyth

Boost for the Tory campaign in the West Country as the party forces Labour to drop its cider hike

Boost for the Tory campaign in the West Country as the party forces Labour to drop its cider hike
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This campaign is going to be a bit like three dimensional chess. There’ll be the Labour Tory contest but there will also be the Tory effort to win Lib Dem seats, 24 of the 120 top Tory target seats are Lib Dem held.

A good example of this 3d chess came in the washup, the negotiation about which bits of its programme the government can get passed into law before this session of parliament ends. In the West Country, where the Tories need to win a bunch of Lib Dem seats, Labour’s plan to increase by 10p the duty on cider has gone down very badly. So the Tories forcing Labour to drop this rise in duty to get the Budget through should help the Tories down there. It should also insulate their candidates from the suggestion that the rise in cider duty was a Tory idea, what the Tories were actually proposing was an increase in the tax on super-strength cider. In short, a concession that the Tories have forced from Labour could give them an advantage over the Lib Dems. 

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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