The Lib Dem’s policy to make everyone’s first 10 thousand pounds of income tax free is, whatever its imperfections, a significant doorstep offer. By that, I mean it is something that those canvassing for the Lib Dems can say in an attmept to get the voters to listen to them rather than shut the door in their face. This is something the Tories are short of. At the moment, the Tories have a bunch of smaller policies — abolishing HIPS, freezing council tax, only millionaires paying inheritance tax — that by all acounts go down well on the doorstep. But they lack a big policy that defines the party to voters.
When I talk to Tory candidates I always ask them what their message on the stump is. They nearly always reply with a detailed critique of Brown’s tenure as PM and Chancellor. But if the Tories are going to seal the deal — and a string of pollls with the Tories below 40 percent, including one from ComRes tonight, is a reminder that they have not so far — they are going to need more of a positive message.