Beginner's guide to election speak

This weekend there are all sorts of comments flying around about the elections being declared.

Here is your handy guide to interpreting what politicians, candidates and their parties are saying about the results.

What parties say about an election result

What they mean

We fought a good positive campaign

We lost.

This result gives us something to build on

We lost badly

Our candidate can be proud of having stood up for what we believe in

We lost very badly indeed

We won a moral victory

We lost so badly that if you look up “electoral disaster” on the net you’ll probably find our candidate.

You can’t read too much into a by-election result

We lost.

We are quietly confident

We think ’re going to win, but don’t want to say that for fear of making our voters complacent, or worse, looking like idiots if we’re wrong.

These elections were always going to be tough for us (before the vote)

(Usually) expectations management to make the expected win look even better

These elections were always going to be tough for us (after the vote)

I’m saying the first thing that comes into my head to explain away the defeat

All my colleagues fully support our leader

Most of them want him gone but don’t want their dagger found in his back

This is a very significant result

We won

This victory gives us a mandate to do X

And I’d have been saying it meant we should do X for any result from total victory to failing to get a single vote

Credit to Guido Fawkes for the first one, I added the rest. 


and we can also add
"It wasn't a Jeremy Corbyn problem, it was a problem with having no policy at the top of the Labour Party"

Which means: some dinosaurs survived the asteroid. The same sort of people who agreed with Tony Benn that people voted for Margaret Thatcher because Neil Kinnock wasn't left wing enough now think that people voted for Boris Johnson's Tories because Keir Starmer isn't left wing enough.


Chris Whiteside said…
See updated version posted on Monday morning

Popular posts from this blog

Nick Herbert on his visit to flood hit areas of Cumbria

Quotes of the day 19th August 2020

Quote of the day 24th July 2020