Labour’s controversial ‘low blow’ adverts hitting out at Conservatives have backfired with voters, new research says
Labour’s controversial attack ads have spectacularly backfired with voters, new research suggests.
A cross-party focus group branded one as ‘really desperate’, ‘a low blow’, ‘poor taste’ and said they were ‘gobsmacked’ when shown it for the first time.
This was the ad which suggested that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak does not believe paedophiles should be jailed.
The group of voters, from Erewash in Derbyshire, said the Twitter poster was misleading, rightly pointing out that sentencing of offenders is outside the Government’s and Mr Sunak’s control.
Labour’s controversial attack ads have spectacularly backfired with voters, research suggests
A cross-party focus group described the posters as ‘a low blow’ and said they were ‘gobsmacked’ when they saw them for the first time. Pictured: Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer
They also said it was unfair to use the PM’s picture on the ad, which said: ‘Do you think adults convicted of sexually assaulting children should go to prison? Rishi Sunak doesn’t.’ The group of Tory and Labour voters was questioned by researchers at non-profit organisation More in Common, which unveiled the findings yesterday. They told the researchers it was the first time they had seen the Twitter ads.
Luke Tryl, More in Common’s UK director, said: ‘None of the participants had actually seen the ads.
‘When we showed the ads to them it was actually really quite a negative response from the group.
‘They really objected to the use of Rishi’s picture on it. They really thought that wasn’t fair, that it was very personal.
‘The second thing they said was, ‘He doesn’t do individual sentences, it’s not him that does that, it’s judges, it’s the law’.
‘So actually there was a sense that Labour was being slightly dishonest with the portrayal of it.’
Subsequent Labour posters have suggested the PM does not believe thieves should be punished, nor that adults convicted of possessing a gun should go to prison.
The focus group said it was good that Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer was ‘not Corbyn’ but added that they ‘don’t know what he stands for’.