Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Experts get it wrong

Yes I would have probably agreed, and also been wrong, but it is good when you have company. The PRCA Leader's Panel declared Boris Johnson won the campaign but "more than 50 per cent" believed he would lose the election. It seems they felt that nothing could carry Boris over the finishing line due to his credibility gap and Ken's rebranding of himself as "cuddly".

Perhaps we all missed a very important point. Ken Livingstone could not rebrand himself, the London electorate had a set of attitudes towards him and his administration based on eight years of experience. Johnson had one advantage, he was not Ken and could offer something different. All he had to do was overcome the clown image, appear as the 'new' managerial, business-like Boris and sell that perception to the voters. Clearly he did that! Boris also was able to set the agenda with the support of the Evening Standard, had to be a bonus for him.

2 comments:

Praguetory said...

Imho it's not that Ken could not rebrand himself, it's that he would not rebrand himself. In a word, hubris.

Darren G Lilleker said...

Not sure if he tried or not, he has several persona at best, but his character is pretty well set with the public; in contrast I think many knew there was more to Boris than the TV clown and perhaps decided he was worth a shot. Perhaps the biggest thing though was Ken's supporters were insufficiently motivated to go out and back him while Boris's were.