Having done this for the Euro-elections last year, it seemed worthwhile going through my pile of election literature before the polls open and remarking on it. The first thing that becomes apparent is it’s much harder to concentrate down the General Election literature than that for the Euros.
It is only based on election material that I have received. I assume that any party that has not sent me such material is not standing.
Conservative and Unionist Party (Tory)
- Summary: The oldest and most successful political party in the world has sent one, fairly large, leaflet which takes a spot of navigating. As there is only one such leaflet (containing everything) presumably supposes that less is more.
- Key Policy 1: Cutting the deficit.
- Key Policy 2: Improving the town and local area.
- Transport: Better roads.
- Proud of: Everything, but mostly cutting stuff – the deficit, income tax, fuel duty, unemployment, the welfare bill, crime, etc….
- Quality of election material: Quite blue. Folds in interesting ways.
- Candidate remarks: Friendly chap with a tenacious grip on his arguments.
- Summary: The Green Party is a keen and friendly party which has sensibly reduced the amount of electricity I’d use browsing their website on my computer by sending me a leaflet. The candidate in particular is very enthusiastic about taking a holistic approach to policy-making – that policies in one sector of Government can knock on to other sectors.
- Key Policy 1: Putting the Public First.
- Key Policy 2: The environment.
- Transport: Renationalise railways, fare cuts and more walking/ cycling schemes.
- Proud of: Having plans. (Never having been elected to Government, the Greens do not have a record to shout about. The fact that they are standing nationwide is quite an achievement in itself.)
- Quality of election material: Small and coloured green, getting quite a lot onto the paper.
- Candidate remarks: Quite impressive and knows what she’s about.
- Summary: The Labour Party want this seat and have sent so many bright red letters to that aim it would be a waste of all that effort if they didn’t get it. Keen on why people are supporting them (in case I can’t see any reason to myself), on the horrors of news stories that I’ve managed to miss and on a contract which doesn’t seem to offer me any details of where to sue them in case of it being breached.
- Key Policy 1: The NHS.
- Key Policy 2: Balancing the Books.
- Transport: Curiously, in 7 election communications there is not a single mention of how I am supposed to get to the child centre, the school, the hospital or my apprenticeship.
- Proud of: Opening the hospital (presumably this town didn’t have one before).
- Quality of election material: Red and serious. Inclined to feel repetitive. Unlike Tories and Lib-Dems (but like Greens) dares to promote the fact that the party has a leader.
- Candidate remarks: Coming back for more after losing last time. Good on the party line.
- Summary: The successors to the Whigs have sent me one election leaflet, in a shade of orange which just manages to contrast enough with the white writing on it to be legible. Very keen on spending money on the NHS and being fairer than the Tories. Makes a point of insulting the Tories and Labour equally to avoid excessively burning bridges before coalition negotiations.
- Key Policy 1: Balancing the Books.
- Key Policy 2: The NHS.
- Transport: Lost under all the NHS stuff.
- Proud of: Cutting taxes.
- Quality of election material: Orange and easy to read, but almost nobody in the pictures looks cheerful.
- Candidate remarks: Outside constituency and a little hesitant at hustings.