Low expectations cloud Labour’s abysmal local-elections performance

Low expectations cloud Labour’s abysmal local-elections performance

Low expectations cloud Labour’s abysmal local-elections performance

YESTERDAY Theo Bertram, an adviser in Downing Street under New Labour, blogged on the art of spinning local-election results. He pointed to the party’s grim showing in 2007, when it lost 505 seats and the opposition Conservatives gained 911, as proof of the wonders that successfully setting expectations and framing results can work. Having set the bar for the Tories ludicrously high, on that election night Labour’s talking heads repeated and repeated the claim that the opposition had fallen short and that their own side had avoided its worst-case scenario. They banged on about the Tories’ failure to take Bury, an arbitrary and unrealistic yardstick. Sure enough, references to Labour’s “bad-but-not-disastrous” results, and the Conservatives’ damning result in Bury, popped up all over the news coverage.


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