The Conservatives have launched a new party election broadcast that ran for the first time this evening on BBC One and ITV. The video (which you can view below) is made up of lots of different voters explaining why they’re backing Boris Johnson. But what does this advert tell about the Tories’ overall election strategy?
Getting Brexit done is still the central message
Unlike the Labour party, who are reportedly changing their strategy just two weeks before election day, Boris Johnson is firmly sticking to his central message. But as Katy and James explained earlier on the Coffee House Shots podcast, Conservative strategists are more worried today than they have been at any other point during the campaign. Their concern is that YouGov’s new poll, which puts the party on a 68 seat majority, could turn the tide against them – creating complacency amongst Tory voters and encouraging Labour-leaning undecideds to get out and vote.
This election broadcast consolidates the Tories’ key message of getting Brexit sorted. The tone, however, is notable. There is no mention of the benefits of Brexit. Instead, the video is an appeal to the politically fatigued. It is the kind of messaging that could attract a less entrenched Remain voter sick of the current political climate. ‘Like most people I am tired, I am frustrated’, explains one of the talking heads. At one point even Johnson appeared frustrated. Which brings us on to the second point.
Boris Johnson is a politician you can trust
Trust has been seen as a key issue for Johnson. Using the voices of apparently normal voters, filmed in a seemingly authentic, selfie-style way, lends the message credibility. These are normal people like you and me. And they have the same frustrations as well. Even the Prime Minister uses what appears to be a mobile phone in portrait mode to film himself for a video that was premiered on landscape televisions. This obviously isn’t an oversight, he could easily have employed the skills of a professional cameraman using a proper camera – it’s designed to lend his message authenticity and credibility. Which brings us neatly on to our third point.
A Boris Johnson government means change
Politicians and their failures are mentioned by multiple people in the video. The current Conservative leadership appears perfectly happy to blame previous administrations for the nation’s woes. A particularly telling passage was when three different comments were spliced together:
‘We need to unite, deliver on the democratic result and then we can focus on important issues such as the NHS, policing and education’, ‘and housing, transport, making our streets safer and uniting our country’, ‘let’s concentrate on our infrastructure, let’s concentrate and get stability back in.’
The message is clear. Voter frustrations come from uncertainty, which in turn comes from the failure to get Brexit done. Once this issue has been sorted everything else that frustrates you will get sorted too.