Winning the election aftermath
And so, with minimal reshuffling, the Johnson Government is back. The election is over and we can get on with the aftermath. I’ve divided this initial guidance into two: Government and Opposition.
For the time being you will largely be speaking to the same ministerial teams, as the Conservatives strive to minimise disruption and concentrate on Getting Brexit Done™. But the word on the street is that this status quo will last only until we have left the EU, with a major shake-up of both ministers and department structures to follow in February.
What does that mean? Stay consistent, friendly and on-message but plan for the future. Update or refresh briefing packs for new ministerial teams and (if you don’t have them already) make sure you have refined down to the clearest asks possible for what you want from the ensuing trade deal. Do this NOW (ok, maybe in January) so that you are ready.
Use the opportunity/threat list you created out of the manifestos. Task your team with monitoring opposition appointments and ask them to track down any historic or public statements on relevant issues: are they open to dropping certain policies now that they have lost an election? Will they keep pushing for the policies that you liked? How can you support them as they recover and reassess?
Once all of the relevant committees and shadow ministers are appointed, now would be a great time to renew your reputation audit and find out how your organisation is viewed by the people who matter most to you.
Go early or go home
Engaging early is vital to building trust – the parallel to the charge that voters only see their MP at election time. Don’t ignore the opposition because they don’t have power right now. And – just as important – don’t ignore the Government because you don’t agree with them. This is always true but particularly now: the Johnson team has achieved a substantial electoral shift and that means that the Conservative constituency now overlaps more obviously with that of organisations who have previously focused their efforts on the left of the political spectrum. Failing to engage now would be a waste of a great opportunity when your interests are aligned. It’s never too early to start preparing for the next general election!
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