Jim Messina, a campaign strategist from both of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns and the Tory victory in 2015, is fond of saying that most voters only think about politics for four minutes a week. Elections are won and lost in the news that people can’t escape – the beginning of the six o’clock or the ten o’clock news, before people switch off or switch over. The few minutes of news at the top of the hour on music radio. The images playing on muted televisions at pubs throughout the country.
Once you understand that, that helps to explain why Labour have gone up in the polls since the election was announced. Although there has been plenty in their campaign for politicos to criticise – Diane Abbott, usually the most reliable performer from the leadership’s loyalist wing, had a nightmare interview in which she struggled to explain how Labour’s promise to get more police on the beat would be paid for – their message to Britain’s swing voters has been consistent and strong.
Every morning and every evening since the election started, listeners on music radio have heard a similar theme – Labour will do something nice for you, whether that be reversing the cuts to health spending or putting more police on the beat. As for the Conservatives? Well, they’ve attacked Labour for one thing or another. It’s not altogether surprising that the result is an increase in Labour’s poll share.