So we enter the final few days/hours of a tumultuous campaign featuring two terrorist atrocities, one major u-turn, and an historic poll slide.
We watched as the reputation of a prime minister almost melted in front of our eyes – an almost symbiotic inverse reaction to that of the opposition leader – who’s done better than anyone expected (low bar). But who would have thought those things no more than five weeks ago, and has the power of communications shifted these shapes or merely reflected them?
Indeed, how will those of us working across the communications industry look back on this campaign? Probably as confirmation that digitally served personal advertising beats street level conversations hands-down. Likely as the end of traditional set-piece messaging using outdoor or TV. Definitely as the moment when simplistic high volume three-word messages transcended all other means of message delivery. Political campaigning has changed, beyond all reasonable doubt.
It looks like there will be definite winners and losers, largely premised on the choices each pollster has made on what the profile of turnout will actually look like.
And maybe so has polling. In 2015 all pollsters pretty much got it wrong. This time it looks like there will be definite winners and losers, largely premised on the choices each pollster has made on what the profile of turnout will actually look like. Which pollster will be the most accurate at this election – ok, if any of us are – is simply attributable to whether or not you believe all those 18-24s or 2015 non-voters who now say they will get out to vote, and vote Labour at that. It’s that simple.
I doubt you’ll let me go without nailing my own colours to a mast on this. After all, that’s what you should expect from a pollster at the only application of market research that is held to account by comparison against a real outcome almost immediately.
Well, here goes. For me, the surge among young people and 2015 non-voters now intending to vote Labour lacks substance, and won’t threaten a Conservative overall majority. It’s Theresa May again folks, although I’m just a pollster, so what do I know?
Martin Boon is the director and pollster at market research and insights agency, ICM Unlimited, part of the Unlimited Group.