Ulster University’s Institute for Research in Social Sciences and Slugger O’Toole brought together back room staff from
four of the main five parties at lunchtime in Belfast for an Ask the Campaign Insiders event to discuss the recent General Election campaign. five
- John Moore (UUP)
- Lee Reynolds (DUP)
- Emmet McDonough-Brown (Alliance)
- Martin McAuley (SDLP)
- chaired by David McCann
The conversation and questions covered being off message and the difficulty of holding your intended narrative (sometimes “like chasing a balloon down the street”); hustings and leaders’ debates; the eventual obsession with the ramifications of a hung parliament; pacts; polling; A/B testing of new canvassing techniques; the value of social media for enthusing your core and getting key messages out quickly; and the electoral performance of Máirtín Ó Muilleoir (who was described as “the eternal Lord Mayor” and a “God of networking” as well as some less positive reviews of his political potential in Belfast South.