Tuesday :: Apr 5, 2005

Blair Calls For Elections - He May Wish He Hadn't


by Steve

With Tony Blair now calling for new elections in Great Britain next month, his opponents will use whatever tools are necessary to snatch seats away from Labour and reduce Blair’s majority in Parliament. It seems that there is one way to knock support for Blair way down and to make a case for protest votes in support of Liberal Democrats, and the source of this information comes from an unlikely place: Frank Luntz. Luntz was asked to cross the pond and find out what triggered a hostile reaction to Blair, and it looks like Luntz found Tony Blair’s Achilles heel.

Our 30 swing voters were given "people meters" — small, handheld dials that they turned up or down to register their second-by-second reaction to speeches, news clips or party political broadcasts. Up is good. Down is bad.
We showed them the first few moments of the recent White House press conference where President Bush and Mr. Blair stood side-by-side and talked about "a clear way forward" in Iraq. The dials plummeted. Never in 17 years of moderating people-meter sessions have I seen an audience react so negatively even before the first word had been spoken. Every dial fell.
I can see it now: Lib Dem posters plastered throughout traditional Labour constituencies of a smiling Tony Blair looking wistfully at a smirking George W. Bush over a simple four-word slogan: “Need we say more?” Trust me, it would work.

It looks like the May elections will be very interesting for many reasons. Blair has already announced that he will move 5500 of the country’s Iraq force from southern Iraq to Afghanistan to pursue Osama Bin Laden. A loss of his current comfortable majority in Parliament may force additional reductions and distancing from Bush as well.

Steve :: 8:41 AM :: Comments (5) :: Digg It!