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The lesson from tonight’s astonishing results: campaigns matter

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Manifestos matter, too. Although it was derided at the time, Labour had the more attractive manifesto. It promised goodies for everyone, and it guaranteed that 95% of the population would not have to pay a penny-piece towards this. The economics of this may have been lousy, but the politics were very, very good. In contrast, the Conservative manifesto was kept deliberately vague on such awkward issues as tax, in order to maximise May's post-Election freedom of manoeuvre, but then added an eclectic mix of 'crowd pleasers' (capping energy prices) and 'nasty party' policies (school meals and the 'dementia tax'). Of course, few people read manifestos. But they give local candidates on the stomp and parts spokespersons on the media a script to work from. Time after time, I saw Tories struggling to explain or justify their party's policies.

TE's comments on the campaign, itself, are spot-on. Personalising the campaign as May v Corbyn seemed to make a lot of sense. On the evidence of his 'leadership' to date, Corbyn would make a dreadful PM - a serial rebel who is wholly incapable of building consensus or managing and motivating a team. What the campaign strategists overlooked (or did not dare tell the PM) was that Corbyn also comes across as a decent, likeable, modest sort of bloke, whilst May often retreats into a charisma-free zone.

In sum, Labour had the more marketable product and the better marketer.


And while the UK will be struggeling to assemble a stable coalition government the Brexit clock is ticking away relentlessly...


Hopefully the age of the typical socially incapable stone-faced politician ever leading a party is over, but I don't know.

But I'm glad this election has shown a couple of things for the Tories:
1. They can't ever be so utterly complacent.
2. Brexit wasn't necessarily good for them politically at all.
3. Moving towards a more xenophobic and statist message doesn't benefit them.

As much as I would agree on the almost completely absence of any Charisma, I disagree on the needed male gender to lead and win elections. UK has turned for success under the firm leadership of Margret Thatcher and Germany cherishes (maybe not so strong) but very stable leadership from Mrs. Merkel for over 12 years...and counting.


That was a pretty swift dismissal of over a hundred years of analysis of measurable data, and with a single anecdote. Impressive. It's clear I have made a big mistake by looking to experts in the field of political science to help me understand political developments. If you want to know what's going on, don't talk to a scientist. Ask a journalist.

George from Bilbao

Fundamentals are no tosh.
As much as I agree on the failed campaign, the elections went wrong, as the tories have lost their orientation over the Brexit-Referendum. Since then, TM and her tories have done everything to beat the UKIP party - and turn in for a "Hard Brexit". Now, on this, we may concratulate the PM: Yesterday was a great, great Win - against UKIP.
But for the normal taxpayer with kids (growing elder...and wondering about their future perspectives), the tories have not shown any perspectives in this campaign - other than blunt confrontation with Mainland Europe.
Even for people decisively disliking the EU-Aparatus, British slogans began to sound - far too - hostile in the late months. Rember, EU-Europe needs to change (!), but you don't do that holding hands with a President Trump (!).
Even though - of course - I cannot vote in UK, I follow up closely on your fantastic country and nation (with still much admiration) and would have voted for the tories since the early 80s...with almos none exception...besides the yesterday indeed. As TE suggested, I would have voted for the Liberals or I would have stayed at home. And - it seems - many actual citizens actually did so. Such Outcome is certainly also due to the campaign (and its manyfold mistakes) but it is mainly because ordinary peolple do not choose extremist positions. And the promise of a hard Brexit is exactly that.


Mrs May not only failed to turn up at the TV debate that Corbyn attended, but she sent a Minister whose beloved father had died just a few days earlier.
That is an absolute disgrace and illustrates why she should be hounded out of office soonest.
The nickname "Maybot" suits her perfectly.


Look this woman like Hillary has zero charisma however at least Hillary comes off as intelligent. Mrs May looks as if she is floundering around out of her depth--and always looks discomposed and blank--this inspires no one that she knows what she is doing. Of course TE has to spew out meaningless verbage to cover the fact that being female is also a negative in politics. Can't say that--not that it can't be over come but it takes twice the horsepower a man needs. Most women would agree with this.


"Strong and stable" after Manchester and London, and the increasing revelation that not enough was, as could have been done, in the years leading up to this under May's watch, was her undoing. It's her "deplorables" moment.


I wonder whether we are missing "the differences that makes a difference" as Bateson would have it?
Maybe the first difference is that after generations of voters who looked to politicians as leaders, we have ended up with politicians who are barely managers, yet alone leaders and no Statesmen or Women. Grubby dealers in selfish sectional interests.This has triggered two things- firstly a contrast between May and Corbyn that emphasised fundamental differences of vision, rather than alternative managers of the orthodox paradigm of economy as a god and people as its servant, in service of a few unaccountable organisations - a sort of workhouse economy for the the 21st century. Our frustration has reached a pitch where people - particularly the young, found their voice. It is to be hoped they will not lose it.
The second difference regards the system itself. We have, generally speaking, solid constituency MP's who no matter their differing views, work hard, with purpose, for meagre reward. They are to be applauded. On the other hand, we have the "professionals" - generally privileged, whatever their party, and usually untroubled by the need to earn a living. However, privilege and competence are only loosely correlated, and we have ended up, as highlighted elsewhere in this week's edition, "2nd XI" teams. For many of them, the demonisation of the EU was a diversionary and defensive tactic shielding their own inadequacy.
I suspect many of us are more than happy to give the EU authority in many areas, as long as we have competent politicians to represent us there. We will not get that whilst we have a system as dated and decrepit as the building it sits in.
Hopefully, Corbyn is a harbinger of a move to something better, more representative, thoughtful and selfless. It would be good for the EU to know that whilst we may have reservations, it is not them we detest - it's the mediocrity we have allowed to infiltrate our political leadership.


Should we not consider that one of the key issue that remainers always had, and brexiteers dismissed; Brexit is just too hard to do.

World class: advisors, politicians, civil servants, me!bees of the popular press and not a few millionaires - have all put their shoulders to the wheel for the last year. And in May's election campaign we see the result put to the test. The wheel came off its axle and has caused them and the rest of the population great harm.

Face it. There is no workable solution. The British economy, law and social structures to actually deeply intertwined with Europe and the EU and cannot be ripped apparat without damaging many more internal organs.

True enough, but I was thinking more in terms of personality, or lack of it, and the absence of charisma.
Private Eye have her spot on as the wooden headmistress.
Then again, it should not be decisive if Labour are coming up with all sorts of goodies, and loony left policies and not demonstrating where the money will come from.
I also think the Conservatives have been on very dangerous ground with cuts in benefits to the less well off without getting more from the affluent. Not a good image.