May calling the election in the first place.
I am not sure how Mrs May came to the conclusion in calling this election. Was it her cabinet egging her on because Labour was doing so badly in the polls? Was it her aids? Or did she call this election because she really was worried about the other parliamentary party’s trying to frustrate the Brexit negotiations.
We will never know. But what is clear to me is in life, if you are seen to have repeatedly said you’re not going to do something, then you do it, in my experience it never goes down well. May must have not got that memo.
In an election the manifesto is like the holy bible. It’s your official document that lays out your vision for what you want for the country. It’s the chance to engage with the public whilst journalists read and scrutinise. The 88 page launch of the manifesto itself was quite good.
Mays speech was strong and she was able to answer the questions put to her by journalists. The manifesto was not all about Brexit either. There were some really big changes she wanted to tackle like the changes to social care.
But all the way through May claimed that she was the only one who could be trusted with the Brexit talks and she went on about the “mainstream” something or other. She wanted to break the cycle of political tribalism.
This really left me confused for a few reasons. We are having this election because May had failed to bring parliament together by acting in a presidential way.
The UK is about to enter the toughest set of negotiations since World War 2. In my view the country has become more tribal. And when she left the launch there were protesters booing her and chanting. May had a mountain to climb on that one.
Theresa May launches Conservative manifesto film from ITV.
The TV debates.
Out of all the points you will read in this article this point I feel was the arrow through Mays heart. By not turning up to the debates she completely discredited herself and this made her look weak.
If I was one of her aides or trusted ministers in the cabinet, I really would have dragged her on that stage. May had called this election on the expectation that she was a “strong leader” and the “only person who could deliver Brexit” but she could not even turn up and debate against the potential coalition of chaos.
The social care cap malarkey.
The disappearance act with the TV debates may have been the arrow through her heart but the social care policy was a hammer blow to the head. When I read this policy I was left feeling confused about how much you would have to pay or who would be effected.
And then Mays U-turn, which wasn’t actually a U-turn about the cap, left me even more baffled. I spoke to some of my friends who were conservative campaigners and they said “this policy is going down like a cold bucket of sick on the door step.”
Mays Performance of TV interviews.
Mays started this campaign as a strong and stable leader but she finished looking like a piece of weak and wobbly jelly and a huge part of this was down to her TV persona.
Being the leader of a political party in a campaign must be a tough gig and the British public expects someone who is, well, not like the rest. This might be unfair of us but May walked into this trap from the get go.
She decided to focus this campaign on her leadership not her policies or her party. And the hard truth is, she just couldn’t hack it.
I remember how robotic she came across in the Andrew Neil interviews. How flustered she look at the Wrexham speech. And let’s not forget her one show appearance where there was no reference to her vision or policy. Too many wasted opportunities to get through to the people.
Andrew Neil interview