The United Kingdom’s election campaign officially begins Monday morning, though party leaders have already begun reaching out to voters.
Labour leader Ed Miliband was the first to kick off his campaign at London’s Olympic Park, mere hours after a televised “debate” with prime minister David Cameron. The two never faced each other however, as was requested by Downing Street, instead having back-to-back interviews in front of a live audience. Opinion polls following the program gave Cameron a slight advantage, and therefore the “win,” but more recent polls have suggested the opposite, with Labour now four percentage points ahead. However it’s still too early to make any grand conclusions, with neither party leader expected to get a majority government on May 7th. As Miliband himself put it, “like so many races here during the Olympics, it will go to the wire. Neck and neck”.
Cameron launched the Tories’ campaign over the weekend in Manchester, and will meet with the Queen on Monday to officially dissolve parliament. He will undoubtedly face criticism, not least of which from Labour, over his inability to meet his goal of curbing immigration, a primary concern for Britons. Furthermore, his unexpected announcement to not run for a third term, while even naming possible successors, has led to accusations of both arrogance and callousness.
Miliband has also become a target of criticism, as one would naturally expect, with the prime minister labeling Labour MP’s as a “bunch of hypocritical, holier-than-thou, hopeless, sneering socialists.” He also criticized the Labour leader running against his own brother, saying that he intends to make things personal. This was all during his campaign launch speech of course, where he would face minimal backlash.
No wonder he chickened out of facing Miliband head-to-head.