Monday, January 25, 2016

Corbyn is the polar opposite of Cameron–that can help him win !

“Open-seat presidential elections are shaped by perceptions of the style and personality of the outgoing incumbent. Voters rarely seek the replica of what they have. They almost always seek the remedy, the candidate who has the personal qualities the public finds lacking in the departing executive.”

So writes David Axelrod today in the “New York Times” in an article that argues that the appeal of Donald Trump is substantially because he is the polar opposite of Barack Obama – who himself was the opposite of his predecessor George W Bush. Axelrod goes back further – to young Kennedy (v old Eisenhower) in 1960 and indeed his model works pretty well in the UK as well. Thatcher v Callaghan. Blair v Major. Wilson v Home…

And now we have some good news for Jeremy Corbyn at last. Whether its David Cameron or another Etonian (Boris) or an Old Pauline, George Osborne, his Tory opponent in 2020 will be more of the same. Corbyn can position himself in policy and style not to be the  “replica of what they have”. Not the establishment. Not Oxbridge. Not corrupted by Office. Not in hock to Rupert Murdoch or the BBC or anyone else. More Nigel Farage in appeal than Ed Miliband! (See how Farage also fits the Axelrod model, or did)?

So Corbyn needs to emphasise those of his personal qualities that distinguish him from Cameron – the personality traits which make him, with his long record as an outsider, not the replica of the Prime Minister. Will it work? Well he doesn't have to convince all the people, just enough to build on his hard core (30%?) support. its far from impossible.


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