The Conservatives’ attacks on Ed Miliband – including those about his personal life – have failed and the party is now grasping at straws, the Labour leader’s election guru said.
American advisor David Axelrod, who helped form both of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, said that the speed with which Tory “back stabbing” has been stopped shows that they know their tactics are flawed.
He also said that the party “keep pushing buttons that are not working” that is causing them to “lurch from tactic to tactic” in the run up to the general election on 7 May.
Recent jibes include comparisons between the Miliband brothers – after Ed stated that it was their “bruising” contest that led to David moving to the US – and the assertion that Labour would raise taxes by £3,000 per year, which Mr Axelrod says is untrue.
“Now [the Tories] have gone full circle and are making 11th-hour promises they have no way of funding since their budgets calls for the most extraordinary austerity,” he added.
We can only assume these recent red herring pledges include the extension of Right to Buy to housing association tenants – which only 34 per cent of voters would support, according to a YouGov poll – and the opening of 500 new free schools.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon claimed that, because Mr Miliband competed against his own brother, he would think nothing of betraying the country over Trident to take power.
“Miliband stabbed his own brother in the back to become Labour leader. Now he is willing to stab the United Kingdom in the back to become prime minister,” Mr Fallon wrote in The Times.
Mr Axelrod responded: “Plainly that backfired because they got off of it pretty quickly.
“People are worried about their own family, they are not worried about Ed’s family. They worry about whether their kids are going to make it in the future. They want to hear some solid ideas.
“All of this other stuff appears like a sideshow and they notice it is a sideshow. It appears desperate and it was desperate.”
Even Tory grandee Ken Clarke spoke out against his party launching personal attacks as he warned that dirty tactics could turn-off voters and cost them the election, despite David Cameron insisting that “when it comes to who’s Prime Minister, the personal is national.”
And Mr Axelrod’s claim that Tories have stopped trying to rip apart Mr Miliband – for now – is clearly evident by Mr Cameron uncharacteristically making no mention of him during the launch of their manifesto.
Mr Axelrod, who was controversially hired at a reported £300,000 to sharpen up Labour’s campaign, is planning to fly in from his US base on 26 April in time for polling day 11 days later.
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