Public affairs pros prepare for increased Tory majority
PRCA poll finds lobbyists split over size of Theresa May’s majority.
More than a third of public affairs practitioners believe that Theresa May is on course to win a massive majority of more than 100 seats in the general election.
The PRCA surveyed 112 of the country’s leading public relations experts, including a majority who focus on public affairs.
The industry body found that 49% of respondents expected to see a Conservative majority of over fifty, while 36% said the Tories would get a majority of more than 100 seats.
Only 12% expected a Tory majority of fewer than 50 seats.
May currently has a working majority of just 17. In 1997, Tony Blair won a landslide victory with a majority of 179.
Respondents to the PRCA poll were evenly split between Labour and Tory supporters. The survey also quizzed PRs on what factors are most important when making predictions.
Opinion polling was rated the most important, followed closely by personal insights, such as doorstep conversations.
Connect Communcations boss and PRCA board memeber Andy Sawford, who is leading the PRCA Review of political predictions, commented: “There is a clear shift from the EU referendum, with those making predictions, saying they have taken account of more information than just opinion polls, and are prepared to predict an outcome that does not reflect their personal preference.
"Many of our panel are drawing on personal insights, such as conversations with voters, and their own gut instincts, when making their predictions, putting these alongside polling indications."
The former Labour MP added: “What is different about this election, compared to in 2015, and subsequently the EU referendum, is how divergent the opinion polls are, with the latest ones pointing to everything from Tory losses and a hung parliament, to a Tory landslide. This explains why on only half of our respondents expect the opinion polls to be accurate within the margin of error.”