Breakdown of net persuasiveness by communication channel on day of each Leaders Debate (15 v 22 v 29 April 2010)

Cranfield School of Management

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UK Election 2010

The picture in net persuasiveness (the percentage of touchpoints making people more likely to vote for the party minus the percentage of touchpoints making people less likely to vote for the party) has changed quite dramatically this week.

In the first Leaders Debate the freshness of Nick Clegg and the LibDems’ policies were encouraging more people to take note of the LibDems and to persuade floating voters to consider the party. By last week, net persuasiveness had fallen and now it is at par although this is due to polarisation (+32% and -32%) rather than a solidifying of voting intentions.

The negative persuasiveness of News (TV, Radio and Newspaper) is largely due to the reporting of Bigotsgate. Over half of all Labour touchpoints on April 29th were for news (53%). Gordon Brown stole the limelight (38% of all experiences on April 29th were for Labour in contrast with 27% for Conservatives and 22% LibDems) but in a detrimental way with net persuasiveness of all Labour experiences being -29% (v Conservatives -6% and LibDems +16%).

"I switched on the BBC news during my lunch today and it featured an item about Gordon Brown meeting the public in Rochdale and answering a Labour supporter's questions. He later made unguarded comments about her when he didn't realise he was being recorded in which he referred to her as a bigot. This is very damaging for the Labour Party because it reinforces the idea that Gordon Brown says one thing to the public's face and another in private. I feel that the Labour government has lost contact with ordinary people and their concerns, probably because they have been in power too long. As a lifelong Labour voter I am even less likely to support them now, I have already decided to defect to the Lib Dems in this election."

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