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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Great election slogans

Paul Walter reminisces about the last time there was an autumn election. It was October 1974 and as I relate elsewhere it was the start of my party political activism.

By a strange coincidence we were discussing the very same subject over dinner last night. We all thought it strange that it has been 33 years since a Prime Minister last took us to the polls at the beginning of a British winter.

The Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, Tom McNally, was the guest speaker at the dinner and he recounted his own unique perspective on election timing. Apparently, he was an advisor to Harold Wilson in 1970 when he went to the country early, and lost. Tom also advised Jim Callaghan in 1978/79 when Labour waited until they were forced to call an election at the last possible moment, and also lost.

Still, if we go to the polls on 1st November, as is now widely anticipated, at least the Liberal Democrats will be able to improve on their predecessor party's slogan in October 1974. At that time, having done well in February 1974 under Jeremy Thorpe, the Liberal Party were anticipating a breakthrough and urged upon everybody 'One more heave'.

Thank goodness that modern spin doctors would immediately see the dangers of such a by-line and veto it out of hand.
The Feb 1974 election slogan, though, was one of the best ever:

Take Power. Vote Liberal.
If I recall correctly, Wilson's decision to call a second election in 1974 was based on a desire to increase Labour representation and thus produce a safe working majority. He was disappointed.

There is a lesson for Brown there.

- Frank Little
I thought Labour's slogan of "Vote Plaid get Tory" was a beauty and heavily scented in irony.

The Tory slogan should have been "Vote Tory and we promise to jump into bed with anyone that will have us" while the Lib Dems could have gone for "Vote Lib Dems, please?!"
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