How will the pandemic impact the next general election?
When it comes to predicting and betting on the next general election Covid-19 is what makes me unconfident about the election. Hopefully the pandemic will be over with no scary vaccine evading variants by the time of the next election, but the legacy of the pandemic is likely to be with us for years to come.
The most obvious legacy will be the backlog in the NHS caused by the pandemic, if that isn’t resolved before the next election then that will be a serious issue for the government, given the quasi religious fervour the NHS brings out in the voters.
With 44% of voters thinking the Covid-19 restrictions were removed too soon, as opposed to 13% taking the opposite view, and 34% saying they were removed at about the right time is an awkward position for the government to be in.
If I were advising Sir Keir Starmer I’d tell him to link the delay in dealing with backlog to the early lifting of restrictions as the NHS is swamped dealing with Covid-19 infections rather than dealing with the backlog.
The government’s role in the vaccines and the rollout is something they can positively campaign on, although partygate may blunt that, but until I’m much confident in the role the pandemic plays in the next election I’m reluctant to bet heavily on it.