Election 2017: Assumption is the mother of all…
You know the phrase and doesn’t it ring true the morning after the night before?
Thankfully we live in a democratic society, and despite criticisms of the current electoral system in the UK, the principles of our governance are intact. Labour, whether you support the party or not, ran a political campaign blinder, here’s why:
- People don’t like being taken for granted – it’s universally accepted that the election was called on the basis that it was a done deal. With ratings at an all-time high for the Conservatives and an all-time low for Labour, many predicted a veritable coronation for Theresa May. In a 2017 world people power should never be underestimated.
- The concept of the establishment is not as firmly rooted as it once was. This election was run in communities, by people at grassroots level. Politicians behaving like normal people who we can identify with on the doorstep is what people have voted for.
- The elephant in the room was Brexit. Was this the revenge of the Remainers? Just 12 months on from the shock result for some last June and the UK is looking and feeling quite different. It’s going to feel a long way from strong and stable going into the negotiations. Hold on to your hats!
- The mainstream media is out of touch. Jeremy Corbyn was habitually vilified by traditional media, the BBC has faced significant criticism of not being fair and equitable with airtime. Televisual media latches on to big characters – and before the election Jeremy Corbyn was often painted as a lefty loon by many, even in his own party. Established media sources must look at how they report and who they appeal to in this digital age to maintain relevance.
- People judge what they see not what they’re told. Before the election many people had not been exposed to Jeremy Corbyn first hand. That changed with the calling of the election where all of a sudden our TV screens and social media channels gave Jeremy Corbyn exposure and crucially, a direct voice to the people. He exhibited confidence in rallying crowds, engendering energy and excitement. By contrast, Theresa May was absent from the Leader’s debate, attended over-engineered press calls and public visits. This felt contrived and controlled and not authentic (see next point)
- Authenticity is prized. Politics is about people, not numbers, not polls. It’s vital to communicate on a personal and genuine level. When this election is analysed and unpicked all politicians of all persuasions would do well to remember this important point when going about their daily tasks in Westminster. Quentin Letts even called Theresa May a ‘glumbucket’ in the staunchly Tory supporting Daily Mail. If he couldn’t relate to her what hope did everyone else have?
- Consistency of genuine message wins the day. The strong and stable message became a joke – it was overused and didn’t resonate with people who by contrast responded to the Labour manifesto with new ideas and actual content which was then delivered consistently with sincere gusto.
- A new brand of politics struck a chord. Again much reporting in relation to Labour harped back to the 70s. But what the public felt and heard was refreshing, challenging and relatable.
- The next generation is the future. Mobilising the younger vote was undoubtedly a master stroke in changing public opinion and increasing share for the Labour campaign. Just look at how the grime scene won the day.
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