Sunday, 19 September 2010

Missing an open goal

I'm in election planning/development mode at the moment so starting to read my old books around various campaigns and approaches. (I must admit the more I re-read about Rove the more over-stated I think his reputation is).  To add to my reading, Lord Ashcroft's Minority Report, offering his assessment of the Conservative Party's election campaign will be published tomorrow.  Its main criticisms of the Conservative campaign is featured in the Sunday Telegraph and summarised at Conservativehome. He sums up the situation succinctly:

"The Conservative Party faced a shambolic government, an unpopular Prime Minister, a recession, a huge budget deficit and an overwhelming national desire for change. A year before the election the Conservatives were 20 points ahead in the polls, yet they failed to win an overall majority. Surely this had been an open goal."

The list of failures are pretty accurate and some have been mentioned before but that should not lead people to simply ignore it.  He does point out the result means work on the Tory brand still needs work. He states the goal as:

"It is only in government that the Conservative Party can complete the rehabilitation of its brand – that it can show doubtful voters that it really is on the side of ordinary people, that it is competent to run the economy, and that it can be trusted with public services like the NHS."

The first and last will be extremely difficult in the early years of the government and difficult to overcome in the final years.  Ashcroft now intends to reduce his role in politics both on a personal and financial level.  Conservative politics will be the worse for it and not because of the money but his incisive, honest and strategic thinking on campaigning.


Anonymous said...

Any recommendations on good election campaign books? Especially US ones? Cheers.

Lee said...

Will provide a brief list tonight

Lee said...

I'd recommend a start with the political brain. In an era of policy wonkery it's a good reminder of it can't be your message

From the Clinton era a bit of a contrast. Stephanopolous's book I found good and honest
Dick Morris's book is good too in terms of collection of various tips (and it was written before he headed off to become a right-wing talking head)

I liked this one on Karl Rove on his career, perhaps too complimentary but a chunk of the others head for demonisation.

I've only read Plouffle's book on the Obama campaign. I didn't think it anything special. Obama campaign has been misinterpreted IMO.

Luntz's stuff isn't bad either

Film wise you might want to check out 'Inside the bubble' which charts pretty well the mess of the democrat 2004 campaign. Hard to get but worth it.

There is also an interesting book on the Canadian conservatives worth a look - the conclusions are that earth shattering but the story has interesting aspects of from margins to mainstream.

Beyond that you're more into bios with the relevant sections/chapters on the campiagns.

Anonymous said...

Cheers for that!