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October 11, 2011 Transcript of #CommsChat with Andrew Hawkins, Alex Hilton, and Jonathan Sheppard

On last night’s #CommsChat we were joined by Jonathan Sheppard from Insight Public Affairs and founder of Tory Radio, and Alex Hilton, a Labour blogger who stood for Chelsea and Fulham in the 2010 General Election to discuss political reputations following the 2011 party conferences.

The session was moderated by Andrew Hawkins, executive chairman of polling and research consultancy ComRes.

We looked at to what extent the 2011 party conferences were a success for each of the parties, and what defines conference success. And what is their purpose anyway? To address the issues that the public are currently most invested in, to discuss policies? Or are party conferences now little more than glorified public relations exercises?

You can download a full transcript below, but we’ve also pulled out some of the tweets that we thought were interesting:

Andrew_ComRes #CommsChat I think Ed M is the question – Lab is up in

the high 30s despite a leader who scores badly on most imp issue of day


alexhilton #commschat labour conceded ground on economy and gordon

b4 the election. Thats made it hard to recover

alexhilton @Andrew_ComRes #commschat. Gay marriage big win 4

cam on messaging. Straw man 4 him to beat while underlining no longer nasty party

DavidPrescott Fair to say all conferences failed to reach out to the public.

Not one party had a post conference bounce. Public’s tuned out


toryradio #commschat But surely the diff leaders had different objectives?

Cameron as governing party just wanted to get through unscathed.

DavidPrescott @CommsChat @toryradio Three reasons we have

conferences. Rally members. A week if coverage. And make money. Tories

raised £2m #commschat

JohnnyCov #CommsChat all 3 parties so hung up on presentation that

nothing has enough weight to resonate. Media tells us pres is everything….

…and voters believe that.

SandyLindsay RT @edacuk: RT @Andrew_ComRes: #CommsChat would

Yvette Cooper do any better? <- Anyone human would do better…

Robertcgage @CommsChat If they are, they have failed. Don’t feel they have

made much of a connection to the majority of the public. #commschat

>>>> @CommsChat Ok, so our final topic for tonight: Are party conferences

now little more than glorified public relations exercises?

DavidPrescott “@Andrew_ComRes: #CommsChat @alexhilton – your party needs you”

> It certainly does 😉 #Hilton2015

The full transcript is available here: 10 October Andrew Hawkins, Jonathan Sheppard, Alex Hilton

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