Why did it go so badly for the Conservatives?

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Why did it go so badly for the Conservatives? Empty Why did it go so badly for the Conservatives?

Post by Muscular-mouse on Fri 09 Jun 2017, 8:26 pm

So the election is over and what was predicted to be an easy election just 8 weeks ago where the tories had a 20 point lead which would have resulted in a 100 seat majority has in fact turned into a horrible night for the tories where they actually LOST their majority.

So what went wrong? Was it the election debates that May appeared on? Was it May refusing to debate Corbyn 1v1? was it the dementia tax? or the U-turns? What was it that made her lose a 20 point lead in the space of 7 weeks?


Or was it just that Corbyn ran a better campaign?

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Fri 09 Jun 2017, 8:30 pm

A better campaign that produced less votes, as bad as the Tories were they still got more votes than anyone.

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Post by Pr4wn on Fri 09 Jun 2017, 8:36 pm

Lol, keep clutching at that straw, HH.

Yes, the Tories' campaign was so good that they turned an overall majority and a 20 point lead into a minority government that is going to crumble within a month or two.

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Post by ShahenshahG on Fri 09 Jun 2017, 8:48 pm

Give them half the grief Corbyn got from the media and cons would now be lib dems.

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Fri 09 Jun 2017, 8:52 pm

Pr4wn wrote:Lol, keep clutching at that straw, HH.

Yes, the Tories' campaign was so good that they turned an overall majority and a 20 point lead into a minority government that is going to crumble within a month or two.

Still got more votes, that's all that matters.

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Post by Pr4wn on Fri 09 Jun 2017, 8:56 pm

It's not all that matters though, is it? Not when you have a minority government and a weak leader heading into the most important negotiations in modern history.

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Post by Muscular-mouse on Fri 09 Jun 2017, 8:57 pm

Pr4wn wrote:Lol, keep clutching at that straw, HH.

Yes, the Tories' campaign was so good that they turned an overall majority and a 20 point lead into a minority government that is going to crumble within a month or two.

its laughable really isn't it. Their campaign was so bad that they threw away a landside win in the space of 7 weeks.

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Post by ShahenshahG on Fri 09 Jun 2017, 8:58 pm

Sorry HH

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/general-election-2017/dup-chief-arlene-foster-met-uda-boss-days-after-loyalist-murder-in-bangor-35776873.html

This is unstable and untenable for any serious length of time

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Fri 09 Jun 2017, 9:05 pm

I fully expect another election by the end of the year and feel foolish for confusing the DUP with the UUP earlier.

We shouldn't however paint this as a great victory for Labour who really should have beaten Theresa May regardless of the polls.

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Post by Pr4wn on Fri 09 Jun 2017, 9:06 pm

Why should they have beaten her, HH? Enlighten us.

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Post by ShahenshahG on Fri 09 Jun 2017, 9:08 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:I fully expect another election by the end of the year and feel foolish for confusing the DUP with the UUP earlier.

We shouldn't however paint this as a great victory for Labour who really should have beaten Theresa May regardless of the polls.

That's alright mate, It was just nice for me to be able to accuse someone else of terrorist support for once.

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Fri 09 Jun 2017, 9:09 pm

Pr4wn wrote:Why should they have beaten her, HH? Enlighten us.

A campaign you openly say was awful yet Labour didn't come that close to winning.

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Post by Pr4wn on Fri 09 Jun 2017, 9:21 pm

I also said that Labour started from a position of being 20 points down. You obviously missed/skipped that part.

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Post by Muscular-mouse on Fri 09 Jun 2017, 9:24 pm

So what went wrong for May? How did she lose a 20 point lead in 7 weeks?

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Post by Pr4wn on Fri 09 Jun 2017, 9:28 pm

Refusing to debate Corbyn was huge, as was her robotic behaviour.

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Post by Muscular-mouse on Fri 09 Jun 2017, 9:31 pm

Pr4wn wrote:Refusing to debate Corbyn was huge, as was her robotic behaviour.

I agree that refusing to debate Corbyn was a massive issue that lost her voters. However do you think that she would have put up a performance against Corbyn 1v 1 that would have won her voters or lost her voters if the debate went ahead?

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Post by Pr4wn on Fri 09 Jun 2017, 9:38 pm

No, and it's for the same reason that she didn't debate him in the first place. Corbyn is extremely comfortable in debate but May isn't. She demonstrated this by hosting hand-picked audiences repeatedly during her campaign.

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Post by dummy_half on Fri 09 Jun 2017, 11:47 pm

Corbyn is a better campaigner than he is a Parliamentarian - he's spent most of his political life talking to 'the man in the street', so this just used those skills on a bigger scale. His lack of previous front bench experience means he's still finding his way at the dispatch box, and is perhaps too 'nice' to score decisive blows against May at PMQs. OK, the Labour manifesto was 'pie in the sky' optimism on things like childcare, tuition fees and NHS spending, but it at least had a feel of optimism and moving away from austerity.

The Conservatives hugely mis-judged the electorate. Although they had a big lead in the polls at the start of the campaign, it was quite soft support 0that is, lots of people saying they would vote Conservative because they seemed the least worst option). Placing so much emphasis on May and her strength in the Brexit negotiations was tactically wrong - essentially half the electorate were remainers, while May herself did/does not have the popularity or standing with the electorate to make it a personality contest (unlike Cameron or Blair when first elected). When they did talk about policies other than Brexit, there was a negative feel and then the bungling of the social care policy / U-turn. Running a campaign with the main point being strong and stable leadership is a problem when the leader ends up looking weak and vacillating.

I'm not convinced that the debate particularly changed anyone's mind on policy, but again it suggested a weakness in May that she wasn't able to overcome - there seemed too much sticking to the pre-agreed script and not enough flexibility.

The biggest problem with this election was the result - the Tories getting close enough to a majority that they can form a possibly effective Government with some form of agreement with the DUP means both a weak Government and one that will be throwing a bone to some fairly old school socially conservative ideas (and as for NI power-sharing...). I'd have preferred either a small Tory majority or a coalition of the centre and left to what we've ended up with.

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Post by navyblueshorts on Sat 10 Jun 2017, 3:37 pm

dummy_half wrote:Corbyn is a better campaigner than he is a Parliamentarian - he's spent most of his political life talking to 'the man in the street', so this just used those skills on a bigger scale. His lack of previous front bench experience means he's still finding his way at the dispatch box, and is perhaps too 'nice' to score decisive blows against May at PMQs. OK, the Labour manifesto was 'pie in the sky' optimism on things like childcare, tuition fees and NHS spending, but it at least had a feel of optimism and moving away from austerity.

The Conservatives hugely mis-judged the electorate. Although they had a big lead in the polls at the start of the campaign, it was quite soft support 0that is, lots of people saying they would vote Conservative because they seemed the least worst option). Placing so much emphasis on May and her strength in the Brexit negotiations was tactically wrong - essentially half the electorate were remainers, while May herself did/does not have the popularity or standing with the electorate to make it a personality contest (unlike Cameron or Blair when first elected). When they did talk about policies other than Brexit, there was a negative feel and then the bungling of the social care policy / U-turn. Running a campaign with the main point being strong and stable leadership is a problem when the leader ends up looking weak and vacillating.

I'm not convinced that the debate particularly changed anyone's mind on policy, but again it suggested a weakness in May that she wasn't able to overcome - there seemed too much sticking to the pre-agreed script and not enough flexibility.

The biggest problem with this election was the result - the Tories getting close enough to a majority that they can form a possibly effective Government with some form of agreement with the DUP means both a weak Government and one that will be throwing a bone to some fairly old school socially conservative ideas (and as for NI power-sharing...). I'd have preferred either a small Tory majority or a coalition of the centre and left  to what we've ended up with.
Personally, I think this was a significant issue in a lot of minds. I suspect a huge number of people are fed up with 'austerity', which is essentially all they've known since '08/'09, while at the same time seeing the wealthy get richer and many large corporations paying a pittance in tax etc. A lot of Labour's proposals were, I think, pie-in-the-sky; however, at least they seemed like it meant an end to the same (or worse, post-Brexit) 'austerity' for another 5 years.
Much like Trump's win in America. Promise the Earth, even if it's not deliverable.
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Post by Samo on Sat 10 Jun 2017, 4:25 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:
Pr4wn wrote:Why should they have beaten her, HH? Enlighten us.

A campaign you openly say was awful yet Labour didn't come that close to winning.

They had 800k less votes than the Tories, but because of the way our elections work its painted as a massive difference between the two. Fact is nearly the same amount of people voted for Labour and given the current state of affairs it wouldnt surprise me if Labour spring the next election. People want change, and Labour actually offer real, palpable change for the first time in years.

Once Mrs May makes a total balls up of Brexit and destroys the peace in NI Labour will be there to clean up the mess.

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Post by lostinwales on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 3:08 am

Given that doing a deal with the DUP will put the (sort of) brand new group the Scottish tories into a state barely short of outright rebellion things aren't going to end well

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Post by alfie on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 8:11 am

May reminded people of Maggie Thatcher... but a much weaker version.

Hence she was repugnant to the left and insufficiently attractive to inspire the right...

Recipe for failure.

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 8:44 am

Samo, total crap again I'm afraid but do carry on trying to paint it as a victory.

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Post by Samo on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 9:05 am

Hammersmith harrier wrote:Samo, total crap again I'm afraid but do carry on trying to paint it as a victory.

Care to explain your reasoning?

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 9:16 am

The votes speak for themselves, I have never seen a party try so hard to make out defeat was a victory for the people who didn't even vote for them.

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Post by Samo on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 10:08 am

Having a strong opposition that is actually an opposition is great. A right wing government vs a left wing opposition or vice versa is when our democracy is at its best. Its now genuinely left vs right instead of ring vs slightly less right.

And thats always a good thing no matter your politics.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 10:56 am

Yougov...

Labour 45
Con 39
Lib 7

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Post by MrInvisible on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 12:06 pm

Wow, how things have changed in a short space of time. At the start of the election many were speculating that Labour were facing an existential crisis, and were foreseeing the Tories being in power for decades to come. Hubris is often the downfall of the Conservatives, and they mistakenly thought they could finish off Labour with this election, arrogantly assuming that because they were facing 'unelectable' Corbyn they would easily win a landslide. For me its also striking how much of an impact those referenda that Cameron was so keen on are having on the political scene now, especially in Scotland. Until recently the fallout from financial crisis in 2008 was the main force driving electoral fortunes - I would argue that Brexit, and, north of the border, the independence issue are bigger issues now (plus a perception that there's been too much austerity).

So, for May, the election was obviously a disaster - she's much weakened and living on borrowed time - its a question of when rather than if the knives get sharpened. Obvious bright spot for Tories was the performance in Scotland - Ruth Davidson's stock has certainly risen further. The slight question mark for me over Tory's performance in Scotland is whether this was high water mark - capitalising on perfect storm for them over the independence referendum issue. In similar way to the SNP's stunning successes 2 years ago after the referendum.

Corbyn's position is obviously strengthened. Yes, as many posters are saying, he didn't win the election, but he's managed to move Labour into a much stronger position where they could actually win an election next time round. He does need to strengthen his Cabinet, and finding place for couple of big-hitters from the centre/right of the party would help (e.g. Yvette Cooper).

The Lib Dems were just a few votes in several constituencies of getting a decent result - they had some real near-misses (e.g. St Ives, Richmond). A haul of 12 though is a little disappointing - clearly a lot of the Remain voters went to Labour instead.

UKIP - obviously a disaster, they're the ones with an existential crisis - many voters wondering what the point of them is any more. A far cry from some of the observations after Nuttall becoming leader that he could wipe out Labour in the North.

SNP got a bloody nose - Robertson and Salmond were deliberately targeted, so the 2nd independence referendum clearly cost them. Sturgeon overplayed her hand on that issue. However they still dominate Scottish politics. Sturgeon needs to make sure she doesn't keep eye off the ball on domestic issues over there whilst making best use of her authority to influence the Brexit negotiations.

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Post by Muscular-mouse on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 12:30 pm

TRUSSMAN66 wrote:Yougov...

Labour 45
Con       39
Lib           7

And that is why the conservatives are so happy to jump into bed with the DUP because they know the alternative is another election that Labour will most likely win.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 12:51 pm

Labour has to grow up...It got out of jail. Found that there is a place for the left in politics but next time it won't have May or the dementia tax and I imagine Boris will offer some candy for the kids..

It can win but it needs to open up to the center and bring back Umunna...Jarvis..Cooper types etc..

Broaden the message but keep it inclusive....

A time for Labour to be smart !!.

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 12:57 pm

Boris Johnson would offer a very different proposition and one that wouldn't back down from a debate in fact he'd relish it. I felt all the way through the campaign that he needed to be left off the leash and he has an ability to get people to vote for him.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 1:22 pm

May has all the character of a wooden dressing table. She hid from the live debates as she is not up to that sort of thing. Voters saw that and flaws in the Tory manifesto and warmed to Corbyn's campaigning to the masses and his rallying calls. He led from the front whilst May hid in a closet. Going into coalition with such a dubious party smacks of the ultimate desperation. As Rodney once said in an episode of Only Fools and Houses: 'Why don't you bike it you old bag?' thumbsup
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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 1:43 pm

180,000 people have joined Labour in 3 days...Making 800,000..

That is a huge number and equals 3 million a month in revenue and hundreds of foot soldiers...

Labour is a formidable beast..

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Post by Samo on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 2:08 pm

TRUSSMAN66 wrote:180,000 people have joined Labour in 3 days...Making 800,000..

That is a huge number and equals 3 million a month in revenue and hundreds of foot soldiers...

Labour is a formidable beast..

Its better to be going up the escalator than free falling down it.

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Post by Crimey on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 9:00 am

Hammersmith harrier wrote:Boris Johnson would offer a very different proposition and one that wouldn't back down from a debate in fact he'd relish it. I felt all the way through the campaign that he needed to be left off the leash and he has an ability to get people to vote for him.

Did you actually see the debates Boris was involved in during the campaign trail, he repeatedly embarrassed himself.

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Post by JuliusHMarx on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 9:19 am

Labour need to be realistic. Corbyn et al actually refuse to admit they lost the election (literally - Corbyn accepted that they didn't win it, but refused to admit they lost it). The problem with that approach is that it makes them seem too much like career politicians and less like someone you can trust to be honest and truthful.
Given May's equally awful approach to the result (bury head in sand, say nothing), this was a great chance to take the high ground again. But to take the attitude that Labour have more right to form a minority government than the Conservatives, despite less votes and less seats, is precisely the kind of political arrogance and hubris that got May into trouble and is not helpful to their cause.

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 9:25 am

Crimey wrote:
Hammersmith harrier wrote:Boris Johnson would offer a very different proposition and one that wouldn't back down from a debate in fact he'd relish it. I felt all the way through the campaign that he needed to be left off the leash and he has an ability to get people to vote for him.

Did you actually see the debates Boris was involved in during the campaign trail, he repeatedly embarrassed himself.

I think it's clear to see that you have a problem with anyone from a privileged background.

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Post by GSC on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 9:44 am

The Tories seemed to assume an increased majority was an easy get, and this focussed their efforts on building a mandate for the Brexit they wanted.

Managed to alienate their key voting demographic through their manifesto, May appeared detached the entire campaign and prioritised long shot Labour majorities instead of firming up their own seats.

In comparison Corbyn ran a fantastic campaign and managed to mobilise the youth vote. Not entirely sure how feasible his manifesto was either but much easier to sell a positive doc.

Fantastic result from Labour to deny the Tories a majority starting from down 20, but as they show, you don't win many elections yourself starting down 20 points. Have to build on this momentum now, can't go back to the passive/inept leadership that opened that gap in the first place. May is weakened, Corbyn strengthened, but he no longer has the SNP/Angus providing the opposition he failed to.
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Post by Crimey on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 10:12 am

Hammersmith harrier wrote:
Crimey wrote:
Hammersmith harrier wrote:Boris Johnson would offer a very different proposition and one that wouldn't back down from a debate in fact he'd relish it. I felt all the way through the campaign that he needed to be left off the leash and he has an ability to get people to vote for him.

Did you actually see the debates Boris was involved in during the campaign trail, he repeatedly embarrassed himself.

I think it's clear to see that you have a problem with anyone from a privileged background.

Laugh

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 10:13 am

Says it all Crimey.

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Post by Crimey on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 10:19 am



So you don't think this is embarrassing?

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Post by Hero on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 10:26 am

The Conservatives for me should be looking to get Ruth Davidson into a safe seat asap and then into a leadership election. She's the only one that's come out of the past 12 months actually stronger than she started compared to many of the other high profile Tories who all look a shambles.

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Post by navyblueshorts on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 12:10 pm

Crimey wrote:

So you don't think this is embarrassing?
What a bell-end that idiot truly is... picard
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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 12:10 pm

I don't find that embarrassing at all, Johnson is a passionate person and that appeals to a lot of people, those envious of his intelligence and achievements don't look past his persona.

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Post by Ent on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 12:30 pm

The loss of the majority was multi factorial. The loss of a 20 point polling lead was probably a falsity given than UKIP were still polling at 11% when the GE was announced.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_United_Kingdom_general_election,_2017#Poll_results

Some of the factors were:

larger than predicted split of the UKIP vote going to Labour (still more went to conservatives but not as many as expected)

Voting alliances - for example Brighton Kemptown was a marginal seat with a majority of under 1000 for the conservatives and the Green's chose not to run a candidate (having previously gotten 3000 votes in this constituency) This was repeated throughout with the Green's not standing - with them losing 2.1% of vote share, thats about half a million votes that in all likelihood went to Labour.

Changing voting/political landscape post eu referendum. I think this has really brought politics to the fore and we had a large turnout. It was a very strange election with huge (but inconsistent) swings in many seats.

Youth vote - huge turn out and most voted labour.

https://www.ft.com/content/dac3a3b2-4ad7-11e7-919a-1e14ce4af89b?mhq5j=e1

For me the biggest and most crucial thing is where the hell Theresa May and her team got the data they were using to make predictions and strategise on. Even when the exit polls came out they were denying them and saying wait on the results. Yes the campaign was rubbish but had they been using a real reflection of things the campaign in all likelihood would have been altered/ stepped up.

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Post by GSC on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 12:44 pm

Labour had the same reaction to those exit polls.
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Post by Ent on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 1:06 pm

GSC wrote:Labour had the same reaction to those exit polls.

They had been burned the previous election though.

It was persistent from the conservatives throughout the election campaign - they were out canvassing in areas it turned out they had no hope of winning.

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Post by GSC on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 1:18 pm

In hindsight yes.

When they were planning their strategy, with a 20 point lead, very few seats weren't in play
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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 1:41 pm

Ent wrote:
GSC wrote:Labour had the same reaction to those exit polls.

They had been burned the previous election though.

It was persistent from the conservatives throughout the election campaign - they were out canvassing in areas it turned out they had no hope of winning.

Most of the polling companies failed to pick up high turnout, it would seem that Tory polling also failed to pick up those trends (or wasn't believed at head office if some of the rumours are accurate)

Overall there were a few trends to pick out:
- Very high youth vote, generally Labour voting
- Ukip voters going roughly 2/3 Tory to 1/3 Labour
- Tory remainers opting to punish the Tories for Brexit (the swing to Labour was much more pronounced in electorates that were 55%+ remain
- An overall swing towards Labour during the campaign due to relative campaign performance. Corbyn campaigned strongly, and his MPs put in a real effort at protecting their own seats, whereas the Tories made the campaign about highlighting May's leadership and denigrating Corbyns & then didn't get her out in front of the public enough. Overall a positive campaign message came across better than a negative one. May screwed up badly/was badly advised when deciding to call the election IMO failing to take into account how good Corbyn is at campaigning when his passion comes through* vs his performance in day to day party politics (PMQs etc and getting his MPs on side) where he's weaker.


*he failed on that front in the Remain campaign because in his own mind he was torn on the question
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Post by dyrewolfe on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 2:12 pm

Muscular-mouse wrote:So the election is over and what was predicted to be an easy election just 8 weeks ago where the tories had a 20 point lead which would have resulted in a 100 seat majority has in fact turned into a horrible night for the tories where they actually LOST their majority.

So what went wrong? Was it the election debates that May appeared on? Was it May refusing to debate Corbyn 1v1? was it the dementia tax? or the U-turns? What was it that made her lose a 20 point lead in the space of 7 weeks?


Or was it just that Corbyn ran a better campaign?


In a nutshell, Labour ran a far better campaign (than anyone thought they could). Corbyn was positive, their manifesto had a lot of traditional Labour policies, focusing on welfare, healthcare, education and "soft" Brexit. Personally I think they were offering far more than they could actually deliver (without raising taxes for everyone - not just high earners and corporations). However this obviously appealed to a lot of people. Corbyn also comes across as a much more down-to-earth and approachable person.


The Conservative campaign was pretty much the polar opposite, with the only positives being the "strong and stable leadership" theme and their ability to negotiate a "hard" Brexit. There were a lot of negatives - or at least a lack of promises to match what Labour were offering. I think their manifesto was a lot more realistic...but a lot less appealing.

Weirdly, the Tories' Brexit stance also failed to appeal to former UKIP voters. No idea what happened there that made about half of them vote Labour instead. Find it hard to believe UKIPpers would want a "soft" Brexit.

Plus there was May's refusal to do TV debates, which undoubtedly made her look scared and weak to a lot of people. The way they panned out I think it would have been a waste of time, but sometimes you just have to do what's expected, in order to project the right image. She's also a far less friendly personality than Corbyn and certainly wouldn't appeal to voters beyond the main Tory demographic.


All things considered, I think its a minor miracle they still polled the largest number of votes and came within a handful of seats of getting an overall majority.

Thats not to say I don't think Theresa May is a capable leader, but she definitely lacks the image and personality to have genuine widespread appeal.


Last edited by dyrewolfe on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 2:16 pm; edited 2 times in total
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