Monday, May 24, 2010

Another Book Coup for Biteback: Deborah Mattinson on Polling

Deborah Mattinson was at the heart of Labour's polling organisation for many years. Indeed, she was Gordon Brown's personal pollster. In late June, Biteback is publishing a fascinating book by her in which she talks about polling and focus groups in general, but mainly her role as pollster to Gordon Brown. Here's what the blurb says...
Deborah Mattinson had a unique perspective on the New Labour project. As Britain’s leading political pollster, she has been monitoring public opinion since the mid-1980s, and helped transform Labour into Europe’s greatest election-winning machine of the modern era. Most recently as chief pollster to Gordon Brown as Prime Minister, she has been on the frontline of electoral politics, consistently representing the voter’s side of the story to the politicians. Sometimes, she has encountered scepticism - a belligerent John Smith made an unappreciative witness to one of Deborah’s focus groups - and she has often had to convey unwelcome results - telling a grumpy Gordon Brown he needed to spruce up his appearance cannot have been easy.

With a stellar cast, including Neil Kinnock, Peter Mandelson, John Smith, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, Talking to A Brick Wall reviews the New Labour years from the voter’s point of view. It tracks the ups and downs of the Blair/Brown era as seen from beyond Westminster, showing how closely political reputation correlates with voter connection. It profiles the swing voter, shows the importance of women’s votes, and what gives a politician popular appeal, and maps the voters’ views through the 2010 campaign and its immediate aftermath, showing how the electorate has been left out of political decision making and revealing the public’s recipe for rehabilitating the Labour Party and rebuilding trust in democracy.

A champion of democratic renewal through citizen engagement, Deborah Mattinson believes that we must move to new grown up partnership politics if democracy is to thrive.

Deborah Mattinson advised Labour through the 1980s and the birth of New Labour. She then worked closely with Gordon Brown as he prepared to become PM, and after ‘transition’. She has a unique perspective on the New Labour years through the eyes of the voter. She began her career in advertising, working at McCann Erickson, then Ayer Barker. She left to set up Gould Mattinson with Labour strategist, Philip Gould, in 1985. Deborah co-founded Opinion Leader Research, now the UK’s top research and engagement consultancy, in 1992. She is currently forming a new company with the aim of bringing the public’s perspective to the debating table, connecting decision makers in business and government more closely with the national mood.


The book is published by Biteback on 28 June in hardback, priced £19.99.

You can pre-order the book HERE.

9 comments:

Scrigg said...

So, people will actually read this 'book coup'? Christ! Get a life or what!

Anoneumouse said...

Boring

john in cheshire said...

Iain, why would I want to waste my money on a book written by a socialist? if it's worth reading, I'll go to the library. if i really want to own an copy, i'll wait till it's in the bargain bin. But i doubt that she says anything i want to read.

Ralph Lucas said...

Yuk Phooey. This is surely the right way to sell soap, but politicians are meant to alter the landscape not drape themselves over it.

Andrew Richardson said...

So she has a lot to answer for. Will she being saying sorry.

Roger Thornhill said...

We do not need a "new politics", we need politics out of as much of our lives as possible.

Ergo the State does less, centrally AND locally.

Unsworth said...

Does she describe and explain her relationship with the Smith Institute?

antigone said...

Dear me what grumpy pals you have Iain and what a narrow and unadventurous social circle. Micheal Ashcroft learnt so much from studying labour in late 80s early 90s but your mates' complacency seems to have set in prematurely.
That said Deborah ois a brilliant and incisive commentator and has had a front row seat for nearly two decades. Chuck that knowledge and observation aside at your peril

antigone said...

What grumpy pals you have iain (and prematurely complacent). You may not like deborah but she has had the opportunity to observe and analyse new labour with a proximity few have shared. Michael ashcroft certainly thought there was much to be learnt from the blair years (tho has perhaps now learnt that you cab't replicate charisma, visiom and authenticity with fabcy and expenmsive literature). Know thy enemy if you would be wise...