Invite Ivan

Conservative Party London Mayoral hopeful Ivan Massow has released a video in which he asks viewers if he can spend the night with them.

It’s slightly less tawdry than it sounds.

Massow is keen to learn about the lives of ordinary Londoners and plans to use the overnight experience to help shape his policies.

Once viewers click through on the video they are asked to tell Ivan’s campaign about where they live and why Ivan should visit.

On the one hand, asking to the electorate if you can stay over is quite clever; it’s such an unusual request that it’s the sort of thing that is going to gain earned media coverage.

On the other hand, it’s a fairly freaky ‘ask’.  Why would anyone want to invite a stranger – particularly one who has positively promised to bore on about politics – over to stay on their sofa?

As the likely ambition behind the film is to increase Ivan’s profile and boost the chances of the Conservative Party selection panel including him on their mayoral short-list, the positives probably outweigh the negatives.

The video is a follow-up to one he released in May which tried to portray Ivan as a political outsider.

Paddy Power: you’re getting sacked in the morning

Paddy Power Poster General Election You're Getting Sacked in the morning

Paddy Power reckon a total 75 per cent MPs will lose their seats tomorrow.  To mark the occasion, in typically Paddy Power style, they’ve driven a poster lorry with the slogan ‘You’re getting sacked in the morning’ (a common chant in UK football grounds) emblazoned across it through the streets of Westminster.

A very good press stunt which will nudge politicos towards placing their election bets with the bookmaker this evening.

You can find their general election betting markets here: http://www.paddypower.com/bet/politics/other-politics/uk-politics

Eat Drink Think

 

Friends, I would like to invite you along to a new venture that I’m involved in called Eat Drink Think.

 

It’s a dining-with-a-difference event series with a simple concept; 3 courses of fresh seasonal cooking and 3 sessions of intellectual stimulation.

 

The event I am particularly promoting is called “General Election 2015; the story so far”.  It takes place on Thursday 30th April, 7.30pm at London Fields Brewery.

 

I am hosting it and will be joined on stage by three very special guests to discuss the election campaign so far. 

 

The confirmed guests are:

 

Philip Cowley; Academic & AuthorThe firmest grasp of the quirks and peculiarities that pervade UK elections


Stephen Bush; Online political editor, The New StatesmanThe freshest journalistic talent in Westminster


Caroline Kent; Daily Telegraph Columnist. The fiercest political punditry; Never knowingly on message

 

The mouth-watering menu is:

 

1stSpinach and Goat Cheese tart

2ndSalmon & whitebait fish cakes with spring green salad

3rdCaramelised and spiced banana cake

It would be amazing to see y’all there.  

 

Tickets available here.

Latest Conservative attacks on Labour

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The quality of the content being distributed by The Conservative Party on their social media channels remains consistently high.

The three featured here are the strongest of the last week or so.

The aim behind this content is threefold:

1. Fire-up their own activists who follow the account and give them material to use on the doorstep.

2. Depress the opposition supporters, many of whom also follow the account.

3. Build a narrative amongst journalists and influencers who keep an eye on the party’s social media activity.

And there’s always the chance (albeit a very small one) that an image created between now and polling day might capture the imagination of enough people that it could spill into the mainstream and influence undecided voters.

Labour posters on NHS

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The Labour Party have released their first batch of posters since the start of the official General Election 2015 campaign.

Both focus on the NHS. And both are absolutely terrible.

One features a meme from the 2010 election as its basis and includes a 21 word headline (one should always aim for 8 or less). The other uses a stock image and the level or art direction you would expect from someone using PowerPoint for the first time.

This sort of thing makes the party look so completely cheap and thoughtless. Not exactly two values which people aspire to associate themselves with.

3 pillars of the Conservative Party’s 2015 electoral pitch

Conservative Party graphich rochester strood long term economic plan

First Newark, then Clacton and now Rochester & Strood.  Next week, The Conservative Party are battling against UKIP in a by-election for the third time in six months.

Whilst every by-election has its own local and contextual factors both parties will now be very aware of the other’s strategy and tactics; the lessons learnt from these electoral skirmishes will undoubtedly be taken into the final battle that concludes on 7th May 2015.

It is for that reason that the above graphic being distributed in Rochester & Strood is interesting.  It is the distillation of 6 months’ worth of brutal by-election campaign communications.  Therefore, I expect that the three messages contained in the advert are very likely to be the key facets of the Conservative Party’s pitch for re-election: more jobs, economic growth and tax cuts.

There has been plenty of commentary on how the Conservative Party should deal with the threat provided by UKIP (and to a lesser extent Labour) and it seems that the Tory’s are – sensibly – going to stick with the same formula that has seen governments that go to the polls in times of growth returned time and time again: remind voters that the government are more economically competent than the Opposition and give voters reasons as to why they should be optimistic about their financial future if the status quo remains.

Yes, the Conservatives will almost certainly lose the Rochester & Strood by-election to UKIP, but today more than most days the Conservative Party should have confidence in this strategy for the general election battle.  The Office for National Statistics announced this morning that wages are now rising at a stronger pace than inflation for the first time since 2009.  Not only will this ease the squeeze on household budgets, it will simultaneously remove credibility from the ‘cost of living crisis’ plank in the Labour Party’s general election campaign platform.

Britain’s recent electoral past demonstrates that if the public is optimistic about the economy and a government has a reputation for economic competence, the Opposition Party is incredibly unlikely to end up in 10 Downing St.  If the economy remains strong and the Tory’s stick with the strategy implied in the image above, history dictates that Conservative Party should emerge with the most parliamentary seats.

The strategy sounds simple enough and given that it is one that has been successful so many times in so many countries, one might think that the Conservative Party should have no problem with sticking with it.  But political parties consistently allow themselves to be blown off course by relatively minor events (such as losing by-elections to minority parties in their supposed electoral strongholds).

UKIP poster references sex-abuse victims in Rotherham

1400_reasons_UKIP_poster_Yorkshire_Jack Clarkson

UKIP are exploiting the trauma felt by victims of the Rotherham child sex abuse in a poster for the police commissioner election in South Yorkshire taking place in 2 days time.

The election was called following the resignation of the incumbent who has been held partially culpable (by some) for the failure to prevent 1,400 cases of sex abuse in Rotherham..

The posters, which will be displayed across South Yorkshire up until polling day, states that there are “1,400 reasons why you should not trust Labour again”.

As far as accusations in political posters go, this is as aggressive and uncompromising as they come.

As regular readers know, attack ads only work when the target audience ALREADY hold a point of view; if you’re trying to use an attack ad to seed an idea, it will backfire 99% of the time.

So, the UKIP campaign must be fairly confident that prospective supporters and undecided voters hold the Labour Party – not just the previous holder of the office – responsible for the crimes committed in Rotherham.

I would be incredibly surprised if that were the case and I suspect that this will be a classic case of an attack ad that misjudges the mood of the floating voter.