In the run up to the Christmas period two interesting twists appeared:
- The current Prime Minister, Theresa May, announced she would not lead the Tory party into the next election.
- The Opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has continually pushed for a second election – and this week went all out – as an alternative to a second referendum (which has not really taken off as an idea yet, see our analysis here)
We noted earlier that the previous Big Beast of the Brexit landscape, Boris Johnson, has slipped from his prominent position in the Brexit Who’s Who. So it is interesting to look at whose stars are rising, and why. If an election is seen as a better alternative than a 2nd referendum it could come in months (if not weeks), and thus what may be very interesting to know right now is “if not May, or Boris, then who?”
So we looked at the best climbing stars in the Brexit heavens (Chart above), under the hypothesis that people with a good exposure from Brexit (which really is the only political show in town in the UK right now) may have a very good chance of making a good fist of a bid. Now it would come as no surprise to know that the Labour leader is the brightest star in the Labour space, but in the Tory space that star is Theresa May, and she isn’t standing – so who is up and comng?
We ran the numbers, and as the graph shows, once we removed Theresa May, the two Tories with the most cumulative publicity exposure to date are Dominic Raab and David Davis (for comparison, we also removed Jeremy Corbyn and show the next brightest Labour star, John McDonnell.)
Why cumulative exposure, and not daily? Our experience in election forecasting is that cumulative exposure is a good predictor of a winner, as they have been in the minds of a large number of the public for a long time. Not too long, mind you – public memory has a half life, so we took a 4 week view. As to why a lot of other people are not higher, many have had moments in the sun, but because of their continuous involvement in Brexit these two were getting considerably more coverage day in day.
So is this a predictor of them winning? Hell No – look at their share of the overall Zeitgeist vs Theresa May (even Corbyn hardly features in comparison) in the graph below, what this shows is that no one else is really getting mindspace at all right now. Unfortunately we will have to wait for an Election gun to be fired and the Zeitgeist to be a lot more focussed on election candidates.
Incidentally, this chart stops in mid December for clarity – but so did nearly all political chatter and even this week (commencing 7 January) traffic has hardly ramped up (which is in itself interesting and may be an emerging Thing) but that is another chart for another day….
So keep posted as we keep posting….