The political landscape has changed forever as a result of the election, according to a panel of experts assembled by Portland. Businesses now need to engage with all political parties, they said. And traditional media has lost its influence.
2016 was the year of the right wing populism in Western politics. Trump, Farage, Le Pen and others in their molds saw huge surges in support, if not outright - and often stunning - wins. Voters, tired of starched and sanitised political professionals were attracted to straight-talking anti-establishment figures and for a while, it seemed that the right had a monopoly on charisma.
After the stratospheric results the SNP achieved in 2015 it was likely, if not even inevitable, that political gravity would kick in. Last night they came back to earth with a bump. Defeats for Angus Robertson, their well-regarded Westminster leader and depute leader, Alex Salmond, the former First Minister, and a third of their group of MPs would have been unthinkable even a month or so ago. For sure this election has been a chastening experience for the First Minister and the SNP.
At the headquarters of the Democratic Unionist Party in east Belfast the cheers may have died down, but the phones are about to start ringing.
Already, Arlene Foster’s party are being seen as the “kingmakers” as a result of the messy aftermath of the UK election. And while Theresa May says she will be in touch with “friends in the DUP”, even these friends will expect something significant in return for their crucial support.
A new dawn has broken has it not? Maybe not quite. However, it has inside the Labour Party. Jeremy Corbyn was seen jigging his way into 105 Victoria Street this morning flanked by a ginger looking Labour Party General Secretary – one Iain McNicol. Staff at Labour HQ are already discussing their futures. Most are incumbents from the pre-Corbyn era. They recognise Corbyn has won a significant moral victory within the party.
No prime minister has ever thrown away a winning hand as Theresa May has done. She announced the election when she was thought to be twenty percentage points clear of Jeremy Corbyn in the polls. In early campaigning even Labour candidates with huge majorities feared defeat, assuming that the UKIP vote would go to their Tory opponent.
The terrible truth about the 2017 election is that Mumsnet users initially struggled to care. After the 2015 election and the 2016 referendum, they took a pretty jaundiced view about enduring another campaign; in a survey of over 2300 users last month, only 25% said they thought it was right to call this election now.
General Election campaigning resumes today after a pause following the terrible events in Manchester. What was a fairly adversarial contest will, at least initially, take on a more sober mood. With the nation’s threat level at critical and the army on the streets, there are bigger issues at stake than Westminster tittle tattle and we can hope (if not expect) that the rhetoric from our political parties will rise to meet the circumstances.
The election result looks like a foregone conclusion. The Conservatives are nearly twenty points ahead in the polls. Theresa May has a clear policy agenda for her new Government. And while the Conservatives may no longer be quite the ally of the business community that they once were, for most their offer still beats Labour’s alternative.
With every passing election and referendum the digital space has become increasingly important to politicians trying to reach their audience. Why? Digital campaigns deliver in three key ways for political campaigns: message, money and mobilisation.
Measurement and evaluation