Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 9th 2015 Contents Deputy political editor Steven Swin-
ford, of the UK s Telegraph, picked
apart the Cameron campaign in his
May 8 article "Election 2015: How
David Cameron s Conservatives Won."
He contended, in his article, that
in the wake of the independence ref-
erendum in Scotland, "Lynton Cros-
by---the Conservatives campaign
chief---was quick to spot the risk that
Labour would try to squeeze into
power with the support of the SNP
(Scottish National Party.)"
This, he said, "rapidly became one
of the Tories main lines of attack and,
during the election campaign, effec-
tively drowned out Labour s (led by
Ed Miliband) key messages."
Swinford contended that, "Backed
by polls suggesting a landslide for the
SNP in Scotland, David Cameron and
his team repeatedly hammered home
their message about the threat Ed
Miliband posed to the Union."
Cameron s team widely used ani-
mated videos, side-by-side compar-
isons of party positions and policies,
as well as stressed the Conservatives
successful management of the UK s
finances and its economy.
The PP, through its campaign, is
employing similar methods.
Swinford pointed out that Cameron
had always been more popular than
his own party, while Miliband was
significantly less popular than his
In T&T it is the same: Persad-
Bissessar is more popular than the PP
and the PNM is more popular than
Rowley. Persad-Bissessar also enjoys
an edge over Rowley in terms of overall
However, recent polls have shown
that the gap between the two leaders
has been closing.
In the PP s campaign, strategists
are playing on the PNM leader s per-
ceived personality faults, political deci-
sions/policies and his suitability as
The party is also using videos, tar-
geted media messages, and PP/PNM
comparisons on the campaign trail.
On Friday, Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar formally launched
the PP s manifesto: 20 Pledges for
2020---Kamla s Plan.
The PP manifesto details 20 pledges
towards nation building and people-
centred development and provides
specific, achievable goals for the Peo-
ple s Partnership Government to
undertake and deliver on over the next
Are the campaigns working?
Basdeo pointed out that there is a
great contrast between the two cam-
The PP is utilising its Monday night
forums, which are large public meet-
ings held in various constituencies,
against the PNM, while the PNM is
holding more ground meetings and
"A lot of people are wondering what
kind of campaign is going on because
in previous elections we would be
accustomed to seeing mass meetings,
large crowds all about, by the political
parties and that does not seem to be,"
She said it was one month away
from the general election and there
is "no election vibe or hype" in T&T
which many had grown accustomed
to around the "silly season."
"With both campaigns, looking at
it as a Trinbagonian, you are actually
seeing the foreign influences. What I
am not seeing is the Trinbagonian
influence of how we would normally
run a campaign and feel the vibes and
the campaign. I am not feeling that;
campaign to be feeling that but it may
be that probably it is a little more,"
Merhair said that the campaigns
were geared towards their target audi-
ences and it appeared to be about
rejuvenating those audiences.
"If that is their strategy, goals and
objectives, then I will say it would
have some measure of success because
the people who are UNC and people
who are PNM are responding to that
narrative. However, I am not seeing
it crossing over just yet to the persons
who may be sitting on the fence," she
Ghany said social media would have
an impact on the election by allowing
competing parties to get their mes-
sages out to the public.
"This is just another addition to
the more traditional methods of public
meetings, cottage meetings, walka-
bouts, and general canvassing tech-
niques," he said.
He, as well as Basdeo, agree that it
was difficult to estimate how much
was being spent by the PNM and the
PP or what were their respective
sources of funding.
"Allegations have been made over
the years about possible sources of
PP funding and, in more recent times,
PNM activist Isha Wells has gone pub-
lic about what she was told was the
source of funding for the PNM cam-
paign," Ghany added.
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt August 9, 2015
From Page A6
'T&T election vibes,
PNM supporters during their party's public meeting in Four Roads, Diego Martin, on Tuesday night.
PHOTO: JEFF MAYERS
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