Guide to election speak, updated

 Added a few more of the phrases used this week to my handy beginners' guide to what parties and candidates mean when the talk about election results.

Credit to Guido Fawkes for the first translation, and to Rebecca Long-Bailey, Ian Murray, and the two knichts, Sir Ed Davey and Sir Keir "Knight of the wrong knives" Starmer for comments which cried out to be added to the list.  

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 party made progress in this election

We lost very badly

We’re not making progress quickly enough

We lost very, very, badly

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

We lost very, very, badly indeed

We won a moral victory

We were so badly hammered that if you look up “electoral disaster” on the internet you’ll probably find a picture of 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 of 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

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

Some dinosaurs survived the asteroid: the same sort of people who bought Tony Benn’s line that voters re-elected Maggie Thatcher because Neil Kinnock wasn’t left wing enough now imagine voters backed Boris Johnson’s Conservatives because Keir Starmer isn’t left wing enough.

“I take full responsibility for this result”

“I’m about to start sacking or reshuffling every woman in my top team.”

We are chipping away at X party’s lead

And at the present rate of progress might overhaul them some time in the next century.

These results were as good as we could have expected in the circumstances

And maybe next year we might actually win something


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