Tag Archives: campaign strategy

Framing the message…

23rd June 2016, you probably remember where you were, you probably remember thinking “How did we lose this? How did this happen?”

There were many reasons, but one big one was messaging.

Messaging and, in particular, framing. Framing is how we approach an argument, the context we give to a debate.

You see, that figure we kept on disputing, £350m, only reinforced the Leave campaign’s message. Every time we presented the truth about this false figure we brought the topic of discussion, or the frame, onto the Leave campaign’s message.

Why are we giving money to the EU? Why do we give them control for money? These are the questions which the voters would be thinking about when that figure is debated. We reinforced Leave’s message. This is how framing works.

Framing matters, but we don’t talk about it much as Lib Dems. We are scientific factual people. So we talk about policy, and campaign tools, and how to increase membership; but rarely framing.

This is why I’m creating the “Lib Dem Framing Forum”. This forum is for Lib Dems to discuss, debate and ask about framing messages.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

Why targeting has damaged the Party

Editor’s Note: This article previously made reference to the alleged actions of an unidentified member of party staff. This reference has been removed on the request of that member of staff. Lib Dem Voice has apologised for its original inclusion – we have always sought to avoid such references on the site but our small team of volunteer editors overlooked it on this occasion

 

My fellow colleague kicked off a fascinating debate on how the Party might progress on Sunday. Amongst the comments was a contribution from Michael Meadowcroft which, according to one of our readers, deserved to be expanded upon. It’s a bit longer than our normal pieces, but I hope that it will be thought-provoking. Mark

I have a fellow feeling for Paul Holmes as another of the handful of Liberals who have gained seats from Labour, but it is perverse in his situation for him to defend targeting. I have acknowledged that it arguably works once in the ruthless way it has been carried out for twenty-five years with the diminishing and lethal returns we saw last year. It is a risk to execute targeting even once but the result in 1997 arguably justified its inception. It is the continuance of the strategy that has been disastrous. Indeed the evidence of its failure is visible in that the same seats have to be targeted election after election because we have been unable to build self-supporting organisations in those seats. How then can we rely only on this strategy to win a wide swathe of seats towards a majority in the House of Commons?

Posted in Op-eds | 89 Comments

Rebuilding the Party – a short term fix or a long-term dilemma

My team’s manager, Arsene Wenger, had a short-term problem to replace the players who left in January and a long-term problem because we haven’t won the league since 2003-04. Arsene repeatedly called on us to have faith in him because young upcoming players would strengthen the team to make Arsenal serious contenders for the title. He thought he could do what Manchester United did with “Fergie’s Fledglings” – which included players like Beckham and Giggs. Regrettably, it was not to be. Arsenal has no significant long-term solution and the focus is on short term fixes. But short-term fixes don’t …

Posted in Op-eds | 29 Comments

Should the Liberal Democrats sell themselves like chocolate?

The UK consumed £3.5bn worth of chocolate in 2009, according to market researchers. Further research shows advertising spending by Cadbury’s results in them making £3 for every £1 they spend. We all know what chocolates we like, yet the confectionery companies spend millions a year on product recognition.

Let me ask you a question. What comes to mind when you think about the word Labour or Tories? Labour – do you associated them with the unions, NHS, nationalisation; Tories – what type of people come to mind, their attitudes, economic groups they favour etc. Such characteristics are not fixed but …

Posted in Op-eds | 71 Comments

Fighting Brexit: public opinion and cross-party co-operation

In the previous two posts in this series, I examined the legislative process and prospects for the EU negotiations. Our challenge is how to shape public opinion and move parliamentarians from other political parties to build an overwhelming national will to stop this Brexit madness, and in so doing attract more support for ourselves.

We can still stop Brexit. We can withdraw unilaterally our intention to leave the EU before 29 March 2019. Lord John Kerr, former head of the Diplomatic Service, has said as much, whilst Professor Sir Alan Ashwood has argued it “takes two to tango.”. UKlegalfuture

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 14 Comments

Let’s Replace the Tories!

I can see three possible conclusions to the Brexit debacle. First, we’ll crash out the EU without a deal. Second, Brexit will become untenable and we’ll have to end up staying in the EU. And third, we’ll be stuck in a transitional limbo with a debilitated leadership and endless bureaucratic wrangling that may further weaken our economy and global reputation. Nevertheless, if we ever get through this mess, we will most certainly hit rock bottom. However good this imaginary deal might be, relations with our European partners will have been broken beyond repair. We need to prepare ourselves for any …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 49 Comments

We can learn from UKIP!

UKIP is dead in the water. Their voters have swung to a Tory party committed to Brexit with no final consultation and the opening new grammar schools, both signature policies of UKIP: their task is done.

Meanwhile, we Lib Dems are bigger than we’ve ever been; and yet in spite of a 2% swing to us, we are not making the gains we deserve. Both Labour and the Tories have sticky voters who aren’t coming over to us: if Corbyn was as much of a dead weight as people say, I would expect a bigger swing from Labour; and Tory voters seem optimistic the consequences of Brexit can be weathered in a safe pair of government hands.

We need to learn from UKIP. To be victims of our own success would be a great pleasure. As most people see it, we are victims of our own stupidity; the one totem policy people associated with us got dropped. The ins-and-outs of policy do not matter to the man on the street. The strides we made in government, of which we are rightly proud, simply aren’t important.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 54 Comments
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