Theresa’s Tories still being hit by the GE2017 branding gamble

Theresa’s Tories still being hit by the GE2017 branding gamble

No post election poll has matched the CON election share which itself was seen as a disappointment

It was noticing the photograph above of the Conservative battle bus at the general election that reminded me what a huge gamble the blue team made at the last election by putting everything on Theresa May.

Notice that on the bus the words Conservative or Tory don’t appear. The election was going to be all about Theresa but as it turned out by polling day this was no longer a positive but a significant negative.

This was brought home to me by a recent conversation with a regular non-posting PBer PB and Lib Dem canvasser who was working hard throughout April May and early June for his party. He noted that in April and early May often when they knocked on a Conservative supporter’s door they were likely to get the response that people will be voting for Theresa. It was she that was being named and not her party.

By the end of the campaign the tone was completely different. When voters specifically mentioned the PM the term they used was “her” who they were defiantly not voting for.

Since June 8th the Tories have yet to poll above 42% which is 1.5% below what they achieved at GE17 and markedly below what most final polls were saying.

Given the way the polls were in early May backed up by superb Conservative local election results you can understand why the “Brand Theresa” strategy was evolved. Unfortunately as people got to know her better her personal rating declined and now they are in deep negative territory.

Can she pull it round? That’s hard to say but it doesn’t look good and the widespread assumption is that GE2017 was her first and last as leader.

Mike Smithson

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