Wednesday, July 22, 2009

More expectation management

More expectation management

I mentioned last year that Labour have become rather bad at expectation management, “for the simple reason that reality is starting to outstrip their worst predictions”.  Well, they are clearly determined to remedy that.  A story in the Telegraph this morning displays surely the ne plus ultra of Labour expectation management.

Labour insiders are privately predicting a meltdown in what is supposed to be a reasonably safe seat, with just 8 per cent of voters expected to back Gordon Brown.

8 per cent?  Now that’s management.  And there’s more too.  Not content with setting extraordinarily unambitious benchmarks for the Labour performance, they are also trying to queer David Cameron’s pitch too…

One member of the Labour entourage tried to peddle me the line that anything less than a majority of 10,000 would be a bad result for David Cameron.

The Labour majority being defended, incidentally, is about 5,500.  The problem with all this, as I mentioned a year ago, is that if you push an extremely downbeat prediction as ‘disastrous’ with the confident expectation that the result will at least be better than that, you look a terrible fool if the results aren’t any better.  By pitching their semi-official prediction so risibly low, Labour must be hoping that they’re covered this time.  I mean, it surely can’t be all as bad as that, can it?

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