How will the London Bridge terror attack affect the general election?
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn today called for his Conservative rival to resign as Prime Minister for presiding over cuts in police numbers during her time as Home Secretary.
He said: "We do have a problem, we should have never have cut the police numbers… We have got an election on Thursday and perhaps that is the best opportunity to deal with it."
During a press conference in London earlier, Theresa May dismissed claims that the police were underfunded and said the government is now funding an “uplift” of armed officers.
Asked if she was wrong on police cuts, the former Home Secretary said that she had protected counter-terrorism budgets and given police extra powers to deal with terrorism.
Mrs May has taken a strong stand on terrorism, declaring “enough is enough” and “things need to change” in the wake of the attack on Saturday night.
But this “enough is enough” response begs the question of why the Government has waited until now to get tough on Islamist extremism, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
"Mrs May is under pressure and she is in a no-win situation," said Joan Hoey, regional director for Europe at the EIU.
Mrs May is under pressure and she is in a no-win situation
Joan Hoey, regional director for Europe at The Economist Intelligence Unit
"Having no choice but to go on the offensive, her speech is bound to beg the question of why she has waited until now. With an election looming later this week, it might even appear that she is doing so for electoral purposes. "
Political parties resumed national campaigning today after three terrorists went on a van and knife rampage, killing seven people, at London Bridge and Borough Market on Saturday.
The terror attack has cast a dark shadow over the final three days of the campaign and security issues are likely to dominate the rest of the election debate.
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Ms Hoey said: ”The impact of the attacks and the reaction they have generated on the outcome of the election is difficult to assess.
“On the one hand, when countries come under attack the population tends to look to a strong leader.
“On the other hand, Mrs May's government looks weak because it has been powerless to prevent three terrible terrorist attacks in the past three months."
Although Labour has managed to narrow the gap with the Conservatives in the polls, most pollsters still predict that the Tories will win a majority on June 8.
Ms Hoey said: "In a tightening election race, the political fallout from the attacks could make a difference to the outcome.
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“The attacks could boost support for the UK Independence Party (UKIP), which has taken a tougher line on Islamist extremism than the mainstream parties, taking votes from the Conservatives who had expected to benefit from UKIP's recent difficulties.
“The attacks could give credence to the Labour Party's line that police cuts have made the country less safe.
“Or Mrs May's tough response may convince the doubters on other policy matters to rally round the party. For now, we maintain our view that the Conservatives will win the election with an increased majority."