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‘Landslides are unstable’: Atalanta CEO reflects on the UK election campaign

2 July 2024 · 2 min read

‘Landslides are unstable’: Atalanta CEO reflects on the UK election campaign

Speaking on the Democracy Sausage podcast, hosted by Mark Kenny, Director of the ANU Australian Studies Institute, Elizabeth Ames joined veteran Labour political strategist John McTernan to cut through the spin and unpack the ongoing UK campaign—betting scandals, public gaffes, and all. 

Elizabeth began by noting that, unlike the 2019 election campaign, this election is not a single-issue campaign. Both Conservatives and Labour are battling on multiple fronts, including how to rebuild public services, address the small boats crisis, and reduce NHS waiting lists. The Tories are also dealing with the country's mood that the government hasn't delivered over the 'last 14 years'. 

Reflecting on polling that has consistently shown Labour heading for a landslide victory, Elizabeth warned that 'landslides are inherently unstable', both due to the conditions that cause them and the new, shifting landscape they leave behind once the dust settles. If Labour were to storm to victory with a large majority, internal party management would become substantially more difficult, creating a challenge to their ability to drive policy change.

Elizabeth and John then discussed the Labour Manifesto, with Elizabeth arguing that it needed bolder solutions to the UK’s policy challenges. Her view was that the lack of clarity around Labour’s policy plans risked exacerbating post-election instability, as without a clear mandate, both MPs and the public might push back on policies that were seen as ‘new’. 

This discussion reflected one of the key lessons from Atalanta Senior Advisor, Mike Rann’s recent masterclass on effective advocacy, highlighting the importance of message discipline and clarity of language when seeking policy change.

Learn more about Atalanta’s work supporting clients to communicate with impact here.

Listen to the full episode below or click here.

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Atalanta Limited is a private limited company registered in England and Wales, with company number 10924770. Registered address: First Floor, 5 Fleet Place, London EC4M 7RD, United Kingdom.

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