Shadown business secretary Ken Clarke had admitted that the Conservatives may have to raise taxes if they win the general election. He did not rule out an increase in VAT. He also said that Dave Cameron was having 'a struggle' to get his message across: Ken
From one point of view this is welcome honesty about what is needed to balance the country's book.s Without tax rises it would be difficult to start to deal with the deficit without cuts in public services that would be unacceptable to many voters. However, it does give some potential ammunition to Labour as VAT is a regressive tax.
In terms of Dave's message, which he started rolling out with a speech to his party workers in his constituency yesterday, the polling evidence would seem to suggest that voters are fed up with Gordon Brown and Labour, but do not yet feel confident about Dave and the Conservatives. Indeed, in some respects the Conservatives have been falling back, although the upcoming series of launches may help them to seize the agenda.
Conservative workers in key marginals seem to be quietly confident without being in any way complacent. It is in these seats that the election will be decided.