Empowering the Freelance Economy

Former Tory Voters Among 5 Million “Wildcard Undecideds” Left to Vote with Gut and Wallet

0 779

The lack of transparency from political parties on their plans for economic growth—whether through spending cuts or increased taxes—makes it hard for voters to decide who to support on July 4th. Will they be left to vote based on gut feelings and a candidate’s character?

The close to 5 million undecided voters are still a wild card, despite Labour’s consistent lead, according to Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs, Anand Menon.

While voting with certain issues in mind, such as climate change, most of us will have to vote with our pockets, especially if we are self-employed. That, and a gut feeling about which candidate will commit to making our streets safe, our economy and military defences mighty and our bills and interest rates low. No easy task.

Take Alan, 41, an accountant from the constituency of Chingford and Woodford Green, who spoke to The Guardian about his concerns over fiscal drag and higher taxes.

Alan lives in a “marginal seat” that could be among the Conservative strongholds switching to Labour. Alan’s household is among the top 2% of earners but is not sitting comfortably. The Guardian reported:

Despite a household income of about £150,000 before tax, Alan and his wife had to remortgage their home to afford the monthly £3,000 nursery bill for their two children, alongside higher mortgage costs due to soaring interest rates. Alan said people like himself could not afford current levels of taxation.

Voters such as Alan and many solo self-employed workers are scratching their heads on how they will cast their vote, largely because of what is not specified in the parties’ manifestos. The regulatory costs of new regulations, for example, being proposed by each party could cost millions of pounds, and they are unlikely all fully accounted for in the manifestos. The same goes for net-zero plans.

A Telegraph report suggests that funding for the country’s energy transition under a Labour government, potentially reaching billions of pounds, is still uncertain, both from the public and private sectors. In the case of Labour, this funding will come from government allocations, green bonds, potentially increased taxes on higher earners (i.e. Alan) and corporations, and leveraging private sector investments to drive the transition to a greener economy. Labour also emphasises the creation of green jobs and industries as part of their strategy to achieve net-zero emissions.

What about job creation and economic growth?

Since the Conservatives have been in power, around 68,000 jobs in the net-zero sector have been created. Not much all things considered. These jobs of course span various industries, including renewable energy, electric vehicle manufacturing, and energy efficiency improvements in buildings. The UK government has also outlined plans to support up to 440,000 jobs by 2030 through its net-zero strategies, driven by significant public and private investment​.

How does this growth compare to the Labour Party’s ambitions? Labour has pledged to create over 220,000 jobs each year through its net-zero plans. These jobs will be supported by a £200 billion investment into the national clean energy infrastructure.

The plan includes the establishment of a publicly-owned clean energy company called Great British Energy, which will coordinate the development of clean power projects and facilitate competitive tendering for grid construction. This initiative aims to upgrade the UK’s energy grid, reduce energy bills, boost energy security, and support the transition to a clean energy economy, according to reports by the New Statesman and The Labour Party​.

Which candidate has the most integrity?

So, with so much uncertainty, other than going with their wallets, voters could be forced to make a gut decision based on each candidate’s character. What historical proof of promises made or broken do they have to call upon?

When push comes to shove, which leader will be honest with us? Which one will answer our questions rather than dance around them? Which one could be as effective as brokering what is best for our businesses, health and national security?

For example, the Leader of the Lib Dems, Sir Ed Davey, has said that according to the PA News Agency, guilty parties in the Horizon scandal “will have to go to prison for this conspiracy of lies”.

For those affected, this is what they need to hear. That is because Davey claims he and many others were “lied to” by the Post Office, notably after he met Sir Alan Bates and put the former subpostmaster’s concerns about the Horizon IT system to company executives. This was during the time Davey was briefly consumer affairs minister in the coalition government between 2010 and 2012.

Snapshot of each candidate’s integrity

That said, determining which political candidate has the most integrity in the 2024 UK general election can be subjective and depends on individual perspectives. However, several sources have discussed candidates’ past performances and promises, providing insight into their perceived integrity.

  1. Keir Starmer (Labour Party): Starmer is often highlighted for his legal background and commitment to integrity and accountability. His efforts to distance the Labour Party from past controversies and focus on policy-driven campaigns have earned him recognition for his leadership qualities, according to the Democracy Club and iSideWith​.
  2. Rishi Sunak (Conservative Party): Sunak has garnered praise for his handling of the COVID-19 economic response and his fiscal policies as Chancellor. His straightforward approach and focus on economic stability are often cited as indicators of his integrity and competence​. However, he has lost the faith of many solo self-employed and company directors who were denied COVID support and those looking for more security when it comes to being forced to work with unregulated umbrella companies (i.e. IR 35 and Off-Payroll rules).
  3. Ed Davey (Liberal Democrats): Davey emphasises transparency and environmental sustainability, which align with his party’s progressive values. His consistent advocacy for these issues adds to his reputation for integrity​.
  4. Caroline Lucas (Green Party): As the sole Green Party MP, Lucas is known for her unwavering commitment to environmental issues and social justice. Her long-standing dedication to these causes has bolstered her integrity in the eyes of many voters, according to the Democracy Club​.
  5. Nigel Farage (Reform UK): Farage is a polarising figure in UK politics, known for his instrumental role in the Brexit movement. His supporters praise his consistency, straightforwardness, and ability to challenge the political establishment. However, critics often question his methods and political alliances. Farage’s integrity is viewed through the lens of his commitment to his core issues, particularly Brexit and his stance on immigration and economic reform​, according to multiple sources including Democracy Club​, iSideWith and Who Can I Vote For?​.

To summarise the perceived integrity of the main candidates in the 2024 UK general election:

  1. Keir Starmer (Labour Party): Known for legal background and commitment to accountability
  2. Rishi Sunak (Conservative Party): Praised for economic management and fiscal policies
  3. Ed Davey (Liberal Democrats): Emphasizes transparency and environmental sustainability
  4. Caroline Lucas (Green Party): Recognized for unwavering commitment to environmental and social justice issues
  5. Nigel Farage (Reform UK): Viewed as a consistent advocate for Brexit and challenging the political status quo

Click the image below to take our poll:

Which candidate do you think has the most integrity?

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.