Conservative Diary

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The choice at this election is a choice between a strong Conservative government and the economic chaos of a hung parliament

Most Tories reacted with consternation to yesterday's YouGov poll showing a 2% lead (there'll be another YouGov poll at 10pm tonight). But the reactions of markets has been even more significant. And don't take my word for it. These are today's headlines...

NewspapersHere's an analyst quoted in The Guardian:

“So long as the markets could harbour some hope that the next government, in only three months time, would be a fiscally prudent, business-friendly Conservative one that would act swiftly to reduce the UK deficit and borrowing mountains, the pound was able to just about hold its own against the Euro … but today the dam burst and it could not even do that.”

And then there's the FT:

"Since the end of November, the gap between the interest rate Britain and Germany must pay on 10-year government debt has risen from 0.35 percentage points to 0.9 points. British government bond yields – the cost of servicing government borrowing – have risen above those of Italy for the first time since mid-2008. Britain has to pay much more to borrow than other triple A-rated economies such as Germany, France and the US."

It's not scare mongering to warn the British people about the gravity of the choice they face at the General Election. It's difficult for the Tories to warn voters directly. But newspapers and other opinion formers must point to the dangers of much higher interest rates if Britain does not elect a strong government that is capable of coping with the fact that Brown has doubled the national debt.

Tim Montgomerie

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