#GE2015 Morning Lolz Briefing: Popular Ed Miliband visits unpopular Jim Murphy as Miliballs comes to town


CommonSpace takes a look at what’s happening on the General Election trail today

THE man of the moment, Ed Miliband, is in Scotland today, with his more unpopular namesake, Ed Balls, who will in turn visit the even more unpopular Jim Murphy. Miliband’s zoomed ahead of David Cameron in the popularity stakes, as well as pushing Labour into a significant poll lead for the first time in months – who says Labour needs to win in Scotland to be the largest party now? The latest Scottish YouGov poll shows the party is barely going to hold on to an MP in Scotland, with the SNP on course to win an almost ridiculous 53 out of 59 MPs.

‘Miliballs’ in Edinburgh

The two Ed’s are off to Scotland’s capital to say Labour will “never sell Scotland short” by agreeing to SNP demands for full fiscal autonomy. No one really thought Labour was going to agree to that, but moving on…

The Ed’s will be greeted by Jim Murphy, who must be feeling a bit like a sad clown at this stage; his magic tricks act to save Scottish Labour is only making the party more unpopular.

They’re meeting at the Hilton in Edinburgh, which is always a good place to show that you’ve got the common touch.

Miliband will say full fiscal autonomy will lead to a PS7.6bn black hole in Scotland’s budget and say Scottish voters have a choice between either Tory austerity, the SNP’s “funding gap” or “Labour with a better plan, for a better future”. Inspiring.

David Cameron does something that isn’t right-wing

The prime minister is in trouble, and in scrabbling around for something that might win back voters he’s come up with a freeze on train prices – promising that they will not rise above inflation for any year of the next parliament under the Tories.

Doesn’t this tamper with the almighty market forces? Will the free-market equilibrium not come tumbling down under the pressure of state interference?

Apparently not, which begs the question – why can’t the state interfere in other aspects of life that make a difference to people’s living standards? Here’s hoping someone is going to ask Cameron that.

Sturgeon in Stirling

Nicola Sturgeon will be raising the issue of the NHS in Stirling today. Under her plan, the Scottish NHS budget will rise by PS2bn by 2020 – as part of a PS9.5bn above inflation increase across the UK.

The first minister will effectively say to Labour ‘I bet your NHS spending rises can’t match mine’.

In reality, she will say to Labour: “Step out of the shadow of the Tories and do the right thing for the NHS in Scotland and across the UK.”

Picture courtesy of Andrew Skudder