On May 2nd 2015, and The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to her first daughter. Much cooing followed amongst the Union Jack clad watchers outside the hospital, but it might just be that the biggest cheer was at the Conservative Party HQ…
With the General Election less than a week away, the polls suggest that the Conservatives and Labour are pretty much neck and neck, with neither seemingly set to win an overall majority. I think the royal baby could make all the difference, and could tip the scales in favour of the Conservatives. Here’s why –
Firstly, in a close election, the status quo has a powerful effect. Unless people think things are so bad they *must* change, or the alternative is so attractive that they *must* vote for it, a lot of people will go for the status quo. In this case that may mean voting for the Conservatives, or it may mean that a potential Labour voter is not swayed enough to go to the ballot and actually vote.
The Royal Family is part of the establishment, (it could be argued that it’s *the* establishment), so having a new royal baby front and centre in the media may well underline that feeling that the status quo is a solid foundation for the country. Again, that view helps the Conservatives.
Secondly, there’s the press coverage. The coverage around the new princess is huge, page after page after page, plus supplements. There’s a simple reason for this – it sells papers. In a time when the printed paper is under tremendous threat from the online options, the papers have not forgotten the massive boost in sales they got after Prince George was born. It’s a simple business decision that this new birth will get equally large coverage.
That helps to engender a feelgood factor, that everything is ok, and in turn that tends to dampen down the argument of those that say that everything is *not* ok, that things are in need of change. After all, why do we need to worry about the bad stuff when there’s a brand new baby to coo over!
Of course that huge press coverage means less room to cover the election. That’s not just the press, but crucially TV as well, and any reduction in coverage suits the incumbent. The opposition needs all the coverage they can get, because they are the ones that have to provide a strong enough counter argument in order to persuade people to actually get out and vote.
So, the opposition is not helped by the massive media coverage of the baby. Of course there are people who are vehemently anti Royal, so the coverage of the baby may well actually fire them up to take action. There are people who are vehemently anti Conservatives, but to be honest, most of the hardened views are already, well, hardened, so are unlikely to be swayed in the final few days of the election.
No, it’s the impact on the waverers, the undecideds, that will have the Conservatives rubbing their hands. If you take into account the ‘shy’ Conservatives, who always vote for them but never admit so to friends, family, and least of all the pollsters, it may well be that the new royal baby, even though it was a girl, will tip the scales in favour of the blue side on election day.
Ok, do let me know what you think, I love the feedback (and shares, likes, tweets of course!)
‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,