I love elections. I adore referendums. I really love them.
I have observed them from the sidelines, reported on them, got involved in local and national campaigning in this country and others. I sit up all night to listen to results, not just of UK elections, or even the biggies like US presidential poll. I will monitor Twitter and listen to the BBC World Service to keep track of voting in the US mid-terms, the Netherlands and Gambia, Austria and Australia, India and Egypt.
I must be honest, I had a slight touch of plebiscite fatigue when Prime Minister Theresa May made her fateful announcement of our latest general election in the short window between the Turkish referendum and the first round of the French presidential election. But I rallied.
Naturally, I have strong views about who I support but that doesn’t cloud my judgement of the quality of the various sides’ campaigns. I come at them both as a marketer and as a political geek.
In many respects, political campaigning is very similar to consumer marketing. It is all about the brand and trust. Who do we trust on the economy? Who do we trust with the NHS? Does the leader look credible?
But it is more complex than that. Very often, objectively speaking, voting for one party or another will be voting against your own personal interest. To win, parties need to reassure you that, no matter what, your voting for them is the right thing for you to do.
Successful political campaigners pull off this trick time and again. Think of all…