With the next general election slated for May 2015, Brands2Life’s PA team gathered leading Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat commentators to discuss the current state of politics and the challenges facing the parties during the second half of this parliament.
Tim Montgomerie, Editor of ConservativeHome, was heartened by the recent appointment of Lynton Crosby because of his long term strategic campaigning skills. But he was sceptical about the Tories’ prospects for 2015 because of the state of the economy and precedent that no sitting government had increased its majority since 1974.
Patrick Diamond, who held senior roles in Tony Blair’s government, pointed out that Ed Miliband had united Labour and achieved several impressive by-election wins. However he argued there had been insufficient internal discussion over the party’s 2010 defeat and engagement with voters’ concerns over issues such as the economy or welfare to guarantee a Labour victory, leading to a risk of defeat in 2015.
Stephen Tall, co-Editor of the LibDem Voice website, argued that his party was in a stronger position than the opinion polls suggested and could play a pivotal role in a future hung parliament. It would fight the next election as a series of 57 local campaigns and target voters with messages that cut across the left-right divide while playing to its core brand attribute of fairness.
The event provided a fascinating insight into the opportunities and threats facing the three main parties as they seek to communicate with voters and win their support.