Here are some that people care about—and that Labour should put in its manifestoby Martin Boon / April 25, 2017 / Leave a comment
Right now, policy-makers are scribbling calculations and deliberating over manifesto commitments. Ah, manifestos: those great dust-collecting items read pretty much exclusively by party members and political hacks who then lie in wait, ready to trap an unsuspecting promise-breaker. That means you, Philip Hammond.
It’s only been a fortnight since Camp Corbyn finally revealed a pair of policies that seem to articulate winning Labour themes. VAT on private school fees and a real living wage of £10 per hour appear to help those in need at the expense of those who can afford it, notwithstanding the debate about who actually benefits. The response so far is promising—a YouGov poll found 52 per cent of people support VAT on private schooling, while ICM say that 61 per cent back the introduction of the £10 real living wage.
Good policies with admirable aims, well communicated and garnering public support—the Labour manifesto looks sorted. Except there’s a problem, The voters won’t necessarily respond in the way that the party would like. The misapprehension that they will has directed policy-makers and campaigners down a blind alley for years.
Progressive parties like to demonstrate how well their policies meet what the public say they want. This approach has led them towards those engaged voters who take the time to read up on policy. No surprise then, that Corbyn and the Labour party have been able to attract exactly these kinds of voters into their membership ranks.
Opinion polls ask people how they intend to vote, or what they think about a policy. Ask a question, get an answer. The trouble is, those answers may not reflect actual behaviour. Polls can fail by not taking into account that people are emotional beings. A policy can be popular, but it doesn’t follow that it moves people. The act of voting is an emotional one for many—hinging on lingering party loyalty, or an angry protest against a failing government.
We can now measure the emotional certainty associated with people’s responses to policy initiatives via ground-breaking techniques. Reaction Time Testing (RTT) measures the speed with which people respond to questions in micro-seconds, calibrated to each individual’s parameters. Quite simply, the quicker the response, the greater the depth of emotional certainty associated with their answer. We then index the emotional value of…