May 9, 2011
A selection of interesting links on the failure of the Yes campaign:
A fascinating study of how the No campaign developed over time. It confirms that Cameron’s whole-hearted support was crucial in their success, and that much of their messaging was formed by the work of Lynton Crosby, he of ‘dog whistle’ fame.
A broadly correct analysis of the Yes campaign’s failings. I would like to highlight how it focuses on the way in which the campaign was run by luvvies for luvvies.
I am disappointed that James didn’t take the opportunity to have a proper go at the campaign, but I am somewhat heartened by his optimism that it’s not game over for supporters of electoral reform – a conclusion I would supprt.
While a lot of this is typical Rupert, he does point out that one of the most egregious errors of the Yes campaign was to not do a full Freepost to everyone in the country. I have to admit, as someone who’s done these before, I smacked myself about the face a bit when I heard this. This isn’t a tactical error, it’s a colossal fucking mistake that someone should be shot for.
I’ll be putting up my own analysis sometime this week, but in the interim I’d like to highlight one particular fact. If you ran a campaign in a local borough, you weren’t allowed access to the email addresses of people from your borough who’d signed up from the main website. Emails to these people could only be sent out by the central campaign. And these emails could only go out on days on which a national email wasn’t being sent. I lost count of the number of events I couldn’t publicise because e-petition no. #3412 just had to be sent to the great British public.
This was a grassroots campaign in which grassroots campaigners weren’t allowed to talk to each other. I would attribute our success in Islington in part to my taking email addresses from volunteers so I could contact them directly, and browbeating the regional staff into sending out emails in any available slot. I would imagine this holds true for Hackney as well, who had a very well developed local communications network.