A week on from the 2017 general election, Newsworks held a lively debate with Steve Richards and a panel of political journalists to analyse the result and address what’s fuelling our shifting political climate.
Speaking to an audience of agency planners and clients, Richards summed up the election by saying that “politics is Shakespearean… if you break with natural order you lose all control”. In his view, the current turbulence in Westminster stems from the 2008 financial crash – since then “British electoral politics has gone bonkers… unruly and unpredictable”.
In the following discussion, i ‘s Nigel Morris said that “we’re leaving the era of tribal politics and moving into one of retail politics”, while the Mirror’s Jason Beattie believes that those predicting election outcomes need to “stop trying to read stats and start trying to read emotions, because that’s what’s changing”.
On the subject of newspapers’ impact on the outcome, The Independent’s Joe Watts made the point that “people gravitate towards news they agree with anyway. It’s about shaping that opinion, not dictating”. Beattie pointed to the Mirror’s campaigning on fox hunting and the winter fuel allowance as evidence that “papers still have a big punch… those articles were the talk of the bus”, while Richards emphasised the “huge impact” the press has on the broadcast agenda.