general-election-2019:-what’s-the-mood-on-the-campaign-trail?

General election 2019: What’s the mood on the campaign trail?

With two weeks to go, the parties are assessing their campaigns. Here’s how they look to our correspondents on the campaign trail.

Conservatives: Surviving scrutiny

Boris Johnson seems buoyant. But then he always does, tickling modestly sized rallies of Tory activists with well-worn Jeremy Corbyn jokes and a simple message on Brexit. It’s a tightly controlled campaign, taking very few risks, that feels efficiently flat.

The opinion polls suggest a fairly comfortable and consistent Tory lead and Mr Johnson may feel a Conservative majority is now within reach, something the party has only achieved once since 1992.

It would be quite a feat. Leave-voting Labour seats in the north of England and Midlands remain key Conservative targets. But as the finishing line gets close, the egg could easily drop from the spoon. Tory strategists are well aware of Theresa May’s stumble in 2017, when the “strong and stable” message went stale, then soured and a poll lead disappeared. “Get Brexit done” is a slogan that needs to survive another fortnight of scrutiny while maintaining the Tories’ momentum.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Conservatives think they spy a path to victory

Conservative strategists will want to avoid any sense they are cantering towards a majority and Boris Johnson will keep talking up the chances of a Labour, SNP and Lib Dem alliance – a tactic that certainly hardened the Tory vote in 2015.

And while the polls show a Tory lead, it’s impossible to know now how local factors, the ripples of Brexit, the fracturing of party ties and tactical voting will translate into seats won and lost. Many voters seem weary and uninspired by the choice in front of them. But at this stage, with the advantage seemingly theirs and Jeremy Corbyn a struggling foe, Conservative tactics are unlikely to change.

Labour: Change of tack

Labour has a problem.

If it is to repeat, never mind exceed, its 2017 performance it has to try to hold a volatile coalition of leave and remain voters together. But insiders say in the first half of the election campaign, the Lib Dem threat was over-estimated, while the willingness of Leave voters to switch from Labour to the Conservatives was under-estimated.

So in the next two weeks, if you live in a Leave area, you are likely to see a very different style of campaign.

Image copyright PA Media Image caption People living in Leave-voting seats like Harlow (pictured) may be seeing more of Jeremy Corbyn

Labour’s new plan will give a higher profile to shadow cabinet members who back a Leave deal rather than Remain, with more activists set to be moved into Leave areas.

 » Read More at bbc.co.uk