As a shocked Australian Labour Party licks its wounds at the unexpected loss of the election, the governing Liberal Party will be giving thanks to Lynton Crosby’s campaign management and polling. Three months ago every “expert” pundit down under expected and predicted Labor to win the general election. Some exit polls today even showed a clear Labour majority. Even as the counts came in Labor refused to concede. CNN eventually reported that “Labor May Have Lost Unlosable Election”.
The messaging was classic Crosby, repeated continually, Australians were posed a simple choice, “Do you want more jobs or more taxes?” Crosby confounded the pollsters when he delivered a majority Conservative government for Cameron in 2015. He’s done it again against the odds for Morrison in Australia. Tory MPs will be wondering as they mull over their future leadership contenders, whether the combo that delivered London for them in 2008 and 2012 can deliver victory for them again in 2022…
The LibDem’s Head of Strategic Research, Tom Smithard, has written to CTF, the firm run by Lynton Crosby, Mark Textor and Mark Fullbrook which was hired by the Conservatives at great expense to do their polling and give campaign advice. Guido has been passed Smithard’s strange request:
… As part of the Liberal Democrat general election review I’ve been asked look into how exactly the Conservatives managed to beat us in the marginals.
I appreciate there are some – maybe many – aspects to your work you wouldn’t necessarily want to detail to former opponents, however vanquished. However I was wondering if you or a member of your team would be willing to speak to me and unlock some of the secrets of your targeting strategy, polling work, ground campaigning etc. I’m sure we’d find whatever you had to say most instructive!
If you have any time to spare and are willing to talk me through some of your work I’d really appreciate it.
Guido asked the LibDems if they were perhaps being a bit naive? They admitted, on reflection, that they “expect the response will come in two words”.
An amused CTF insider suggests they should have asked Lord Ashcroft, who unlike CTF loves telling Labour and the Lib Dems what to do to win…