Wells Street Journal: Honesty not the best policy

There are many things that can scupper an election campaign. An off-guard comment criticising constituents, revelations of an extramarital affair, police investigations – all come high up on the list.

Less common, though no less damaging, is when a candidate heaps praise on their opponent.

But that is what Partnership director of corporate affairs Jim Boyd did in his ill-fated 2001 fight for Sunderland South.

The jovial policy lead was trying to unseat Chris Mullins but was overwhelmed by his own admiration of the long-standing Labour MP, who famously led the campaign to release the Birmingham Six. In an interview with a local newspaper ahead of polling day, Boyd – who worked for Consolidated Communications at the time – was a little too deferential in conveying his respects for one of his political heroes and subsequently lost by a landslide.

Though, to be fair, he did manage to nab a few votes in a Labour stronghold, returning a 1.2 per cent swing to the Tories. Advice for 2015 candidates – honesty can only get you so far.


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Capital Market Notes, November 2016 David Lafferty, chief market strategist at Natixis Global Asset Management, looks at the impact on markets and portfolios since the somewhat surprising outcome of the US election. Click here


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