Hit or Miss? David Cameron attempts to regain the initiative on energy prices after Labour's pre-emptive strike

Everyone seems to be either worried or angry about the rising cost of energy, so Labour leader Ed Miliband struck a chord six weeks ago when he pledged to freeze prices if he gets into power

This initially flustered Prime Minister David Cameron, loath to take an anti-business stance and with the sensitivities of his coalition partners to deal with. But has he succeeded in finally coming out with a proposal to cut bills by an average £50 and fashioning a message that will cut through to undecided voters and convince them to stick with him?

How I see it

Warwick Smith, managing partner, College Public Policy

Cameron failed to strike a chord with the voters. His response was unclear on how his proposal will work, vague on what it will deliver and uncertain it will deliver at all. It was easy for Labour to paint it as a deal between the Tories and their mates in business, leaving Labour as the friends of the people.

Cameron was always going to fail. Miliband’s announcement was central to the theme of the next election: the cost of living. Economic revival won’t play if the voters don’t feel it in their pockets. Miliband’s pledge worked for those "hard-working people" all parties seek to seduce. It was simple. It was true to Labour ’s traditions. It has electoral appeal.

The only good news for the Tories was that a Liberal Democrat announced the Government response. Governments are supposed to make policy, not the Opposition. Miliband has taken the initiative, reinforcing Labour’s argument that Cameron is out of touch and out of control.

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