The hunt for the three words that win an election

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The hunt for the three words that win an election

Anyone hoping that the next local and general elections aren’t going to be vicious affairs now knows better.

Labour attack ads are piling up, presumably on a getting-your-retaliation in first basis.

According to polls, the public reaction to these ads has been to make people think negatively of both the target, Rishi Sunak, and the issuer, Keir Starmer.

Labour seems to think that a plague-on-both-your houses position works fine; they can’t imagine that voters are going to let this lot have another go so they just need to play up Tory incompetence/sleaze.

They must be worried that their poll lead is narrowing though.

A further problem was highlighted in the Sunday Telegraph yesterday (I can’t find an online link, oddly).

According to The Tel, Voters prefer Tory slogans and Labour candidates know it.

So that further reduces any slight chance that the election battles might be about actual policy.

Labour has told its communications people, internal and external, to come up with more memorable taglines.

Sir Keir’s current local election slogan is “Build a Better Britain”, which is his 11th. And too long, goes the thinking.

Three-word slogans are better, such as Take Back Control or Get Brexit Done. Just Do It has always worked for Nike.

The piece quotes Alan McIntyre, standing to take Gloucester for Labour, saying this:

“Nuance is our enemy. Our immigration policy is a good example. We’ve got a five-step plan and that’s great, but the Conservatives’ slogan is Stop The Boats. We really need to get that comms piece in place.”

So there’s very little point in anyone coming up with good, workable policy, especially not if it is, God help us, nuanced.

You just need three words to describe what that policy might, sort-of, look like.

If you’re not in political communications all of this is just very depressing. If you are, well, you’re up…

Press release of the day

Six red flags that you have a computer virus here from VPN – something it seems likely we will all have to pay more attention to.

Some are obvious, some less so. There are tips on how to remove such viruses too.

Stories that will keep rolling

1) How quickly is UK unemployment rising? Enough to be an election issue?

2) Do we trust the China GDP figures?

3) What lessons are to be learned from THG’s (presumably) short life on the stock market?

4) Which UK companies are definitely NOT a target for US private equity?

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