As expected the Conservatives won, things are not going too well for the beleaguered Gordon Brown, but the margin of victory was surprising. Much of this was down to the success of the pitch at the local level. Some lessons can be drawn.
The importance of leadership, in this case the candidates. Tory, Edward Timpson, bright, positive,optimistic contrasting with the reluctant Tamsin Dunwoody. Her selection a misguided attempt to gain the sympathy vote, since her mother had been a huge presence in the constituency, Tamsin suffered by comparison. Her body language signalled that she would really rather be somewhere else.
The value of a positive strategy, in tone and content. The Tory campaign hitting the different target audiences, their loyalists, Labour and LibDems with different but simple, positive messages. Contrast this with Labours “inept, negative and poisonous”campaign ( Labour MPs’ own Compass group).
Finally. the energy factor. In any pitch, business or political, the emotional impact of unbridled energy and exuberance can carry the day. The Tories have this, Labour don’t.