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One of the architects of the worst general election campaign in history gives his thoughts on the campaign

July 11th, 2017

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It looks like it was Labour’s ground game was crucial

Sir Lynton Crosby has spoken about the general election campaign which saw Mrs May squander David Cameron’s majority, The Guardian report that

Crosby cautioned against a simplistic analysis of the result, saying commentary had exaggerated the significance of the youth vote.

He said the failure of older voters to turn out for the election was just as significant.

The pollster also warned that the rise of third-party campaigning for Corbyn had a “significant influence” on the campaign. He made specific reference to the Momentum grassroots group, describing the trend of growing third-party campaigns, particularly from the left, as a “warning sign” for politics in Australia and the business community.

“I think that was a very important influence on the campaign,” he said.

“You can have all of the money in the world, and you can have all of the techniques in the world, but at the end of the day … you’ve got to get people out to vote, which means having people out on the ground, knocking on doors.”

I find this analysis interesting because the trend in politics across the world, including in the UK, has been away from traditional knocking on doors towards data driven micro targeting of voters. If we are returning to the traditional ways of campaigning that might be a real problem for the Tories, as they have fewer members than Labour, and that Tory members are generally much older than their Labour counterparts, all things being equal, this gives Labour a real advantage at the next general election.

Sir Lynton also observes ‘against assuming May’s leadership was over, citing the example of long-serving conservative Australian prime minister, John Howard, who was once labelled “Mr 14%” for his poor performance in the polls. “I’m not in the business of writing anyone off,” Crosby said.’ But it is difficult to take that analysis seriously because Sir Lynton thinks Mrs May ‘got a record vote’, when the reality is she didn’t.

TSE