If you thought you’d had enough of slogans after ‘Take Back Control’ was repeated approximately 2,548 times during the televised referendum debates last year, then you’ve heard nothing yet.
Having cottoned on to the idea following the unexpected success of that very slogan for the Leave side – and emboldened by Donald Trump winning the presidency via the repeated use of ‘Make America Great Again’ and ‘America First’ – the Tories, with strategist Lynton Crosby pulling the strings, have come out swinging with their main play from the very start of this election campaign. And what is this slogan?
Yes, that’s right, it’s ‘Strong and Stable’.
You might have heard it, just a few times, in the interviews that Theresa May has done recently.
Which soundbite does Theresa May use most in two consecutive i...
Here’s how many times Theresa May can say “Strong and Stable” (and other soundbites) in two interviews.Posted by BuzzFeed UK Politics on Tuesday, May 2, 2017
While the slogan doesn’t stand up to the remotest scrutiny – remember the tweet below from David Cameron, which was then followed by two years of absolute chaos? – it’s nonetheless a powerful weapon to reduce complex issues to a simple, highly desirable slogan, designed perfectly for those who don’t really engage with politics other than watching a bit of the 6 o’clock news – that is, the vast majority of the British public.
Strong. Who doesn’t want strength in a leader? Stable. Stability is good, it means things will stay on a nice even keel.
We’re sold. Vote Tory, right?
So, with Theresa May repeating the slogan seemingly ad infinitum on the campaign trail, she’s received criticism from across the media for coming across like a robot. But will she stop doing it?
Absolutely no chance, given this somewhat surprising new piece of polling by YouGov, which reveals that only 15% of the 2,000 people polled remembered hearing the slogan in the last few weeks. That leaves another 85% of the country to go, so you can bet your bottom dollar they’re going to keep repeating it.
Despite this not sounding great, it’s a slogan that’s being remembered far more than the others, with just 2% recalling Labour’s ‘For The Many, Not The Few’ – the same amount as were aware of the Tories’ secondary slogan, ‘Coalition of Chaos’.
And 15% of the country is still 10 million people. That’s a lot.
One thing though: we’re not sure you can seriously class yourself as having a ‘high’ level of interest in politics if you’ve managed to avoid ‘strong and stable’, can you?
There’s one further stat we’re absolutely not surprised by though, with 67% decreeing that the election so far was ‘boring’ compared to just 22% who think that it’s been ‘interesting’.
And it’s precisely this boredom that will ensure that ‘Strong and Stable’ continues to be repeated – as voters switch off from the actual debates, all they’ll be exposed to is the slogans, and clearly this is one that Tory HQ believes in; and given the latest voting intention numbers, shown below, they’re probably right to do so.
Oh go on then, just one (hundred) more time(s).