Why the Conservatives lost their majority in 2017 – fascinating account from a 2015 insider

Lots of insight in this talk about the 2017 Conservative general election campaign from Steve Parker, who worked on the Conservative Party’s advertising account in 2015:

Steve Parker, Planning Director of M&C Saatchi, gives his perspective on the differences between the 2015 and 2017 Conservative Party general election campaigns and suggests reasons as to why they lost their majority.

One thing he doesn’t mention is the changed legal context. Following the record fine on the Conservative Party, several of the tactics the party used to make up for the weakness of its grassroots volunteer base in 2015 had to be dropped.

Although the party found new ways of getting in trouble with the law, this was a notable change in the party’s electoral tactics. The detailed British Elections Study data along with the Justin Fisher and co. survey of election agents will help shed light in due course on whether this had an impact on the results.

5 responses to “Why the Conservatives lost their majority in 2017 – fascinating account from a 2015 insider”

  1. This is indeed very interesting. I’d love to see a similar analysis on what went so badly wrong with the 2017 LibDem campaign. Is someone doing that? Needs to happen.

  2. Posters seem to be effective- he would say that. But … I remember some campaign posters (even 1979 Labour isn’t working). Facebook ads may reach people with personalised messages, but as they are personalised they are not discussed so not remembered as much.

  3. WHy we did not do well. LOCally people were not interested in any suggestion of a re run of the Brexit referendum – our offer needs to be much more related to local needs , not dictated by London .

  4. He does not mention that it was a very unbalanced playing field in that Corbyn could make all sorts of attractive promises – a veritable manifesto of bungs – in the full knowledge that he would not have to make good on them! Also Hill and Timothy seemed to be thuggish control freaks who seemed to stupidly and arrogantly not allow the cabinet to discuss the manifesto! Which was a manifesto suicidal.

  5. The UK electorate has generally become suspicious of big, unfunded promises. However, I think in 2017 it was scared of what the Tories would do and became unimpressed by T May. The focus was never on J Corbyn because it was assumed he couldn’t win. Vote Labour to hold back the Tories a bit. Even the Tory propaganda – and ours – assumed the idea of Corbyn in No 10 would horrify people, so did little to point out the inconsistencies in the manifesto or Corbyn’s less sensible declarations. The Tories won’t make that mistake next time.

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