Monday, 26 April 2010

Behavioural politics, day 18 of 30

Note: blogging has been slightly delayed the last few days - I've been working on a new website, CountMyVote, where UK voters can state their voting intentions in order to gauge whether their chosen party has a chance or if it's worth voting tactically. If you're in the UK, please click through and cast your vote and help us build a picture of likely voting across the country.

Friday, of course, was all about debating the outcome of Thursday's debate.

The consensus that emerged (after a disputed Yougov poll put Cameron slightly ahead) was that everyone was about equal, but some were more equal than others. Gordon Brown got more negative than positive ratings, and Labour continues to trail in most polls.

Better news for Brown in the real world, as the economy grew by 0.2% in the first quarter. David Smith thinks this number is likely to be revised upwards, with good reason. Labour still have about twelve days to capitalise on this, but they'll have to start soon.

The Tories tried to create a mini-scandal out of some Labour leaflets which suggest that certain public services would be cut, or charged for, under Conservative policies. On Friday it looked like this might work, but since then the issue has disappeared.

Boris Johnson agrees that the rise of Nick Clegg is a phenomenon of behavioural politics:
"I feel some psychological thing has taken over the nation that I don't understand"
Some might say there are lots of things Boris doesn't understand - others think it's just an act. Both Conservative and Labour parties have a strong interest in portraying the rise of the Lib Dems as a psychological reaction, or a result of media obsession with process - anything but policy, basically. Labour benefit from a policy focus because that tends to equalise the three parties. The Tories benefit from marginalising the Lib Dems because it leaves them as the alternative to a disliked Labour Party. So expect Labour in particular to try to bring attention back to policy over the next few days, and the Conservatives to continue to attack the Lib Dems and Clegg.

Indeed, the only party which got any coverage today for a policy announcement was the BNP, who launched their manifesto. While I personally find it quite fascinating to continually analyse the behavioural game theory of the political contest, I can understand why others get a bit frustrated.

Ratings: Conservative 7/10, Liberal Democrat 6/10, Labour 5/10.

2 comments:

codemonkey_uk said...

I am surprised you don't realize that asking for peoples email address is a *major* blocking step for your CountMyVote site.

If it's only needed for people to change their vote, then make it optional, or do it via a cookie instead.

Timbo614 said...

@codemonkey_UK

And why would that be?

as a "code monkey" surely you have disposable email addresses for this type stuff! Just like me:)