Maitland Political/AMO Insight – European Elections 2014

1st May 2014

Welcome to the second edition of Maitland/AMO Political Insight. In this issue we take an in-depth look at the European Parliamentary Elections happening later this week. Featuring comment from our man in Brussels, a guide to the elections and commission candidates, as well as a 'Why Vote for Us' dispatch box special from the four main parties, this should be all you need to know as Europe heads to the polls.

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The Euro election campaign started with a bang when Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and UKIP’s Nigel Farage went head to head in two highly charged televised leaders’ debates. While the press pack declared Clegg winner in the first round, public opinion sided with Farage, much to the dismay of the Westminster village. A lot has been made of the “political earthquake” promised by UKIP and indicated by the polls, but anything less than topping the vote will be seen as a failure for the party dubbing itself “the people’s army”.
If UKIP have been heralding their chances of victory, the opposite is true of the Conservatives. With the polls suggesting a first ever third place finish in a national election for the party, the Tories are playing down its importance and focusing instead on the General Election, while David Cameron continues to pursue his renegotiation of the UK’s EU membership. In fact, recent good economic news has bolstered the party and a surprising spirit of unity and discipline has broken out in Tory ranks.

Despite a tightening in the polls, Labour remain ahead of the Conservatives by a small margin. It is widely understood that their election strategy is focussed on securing the core vote plus disaffected Liberal Democrats. The party needs 35% to win a majority in 2015, and consequently we have heard
relatively little from Labour on Europe. Instead, there has been a continued focus on the party’s key themes; saving the NHS, the cost of living crisis and investing in tackling poverty.

The excitement in the political world has been matched by us at Maitland. Our work on the United Nations Foundation Climate Change Campaign has been nominated by the CIPR Global Public Relations Awards for best Global Public Relations Campaign, a testament to the hard work of our team here and colleagues across the world. We also had the privilege to sponsor Ellwood Atfield Gallery’s latest exhibition, Royalty, Politics and War: the art of the photojournalist, and were delighted to welcome both the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer to the event. My thanks to all those who helped to make this edition of the Maitland Political/AMO Insight possible. We will be publishing the third in this series of e-magazines in the run up to September’s Scottish independence referendum. Should you wish to contact us about the Insight or our work, please feel free to get in touch.

Pete Bowyer, Founding Partner, Maitland Political/AMO

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