Peter Hoskin

The Tories plan to cut early – but how would their opponents respond?

The Tories plan to cut early – but how would their opponents respond?
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Oh yes, the Tories are broadcasting more Ready For Government noises this morning.  There's an article in the Telegraph suggesting that David Cameron would choose a minority government ahead of coalition with the Lib Dems.  And the Guardian reports that a Tory government would set out a bulkload of spendings cuts in the first six months of office, when, as a senior Tory puts it, the "excitement of the general election aftermath" will still be hanging in the air.

You can understand the Tory thinking here.  Not only will they find it easier to achieve things during the heat and righteous fury of early government, but they will also need to seize something like a mandate for the cuts which have remained off-stage during the election campaign. 

One thing to look out for, though, is how the Tories' opponents respond.  Do they do a Brown and attack "Tory cuts" with a vengeance?  Or do they claim that, now the cuts have been set out, they are insufficent to the fiscal problem?  Much will depend on the depth of Tory cuts, who is Labour leader, and on the role the Lib Dems have to play. But the potential is certainly there for a shift in the battle lines of British politics.