Which party ran the best General Election campaign? Our panel gives its verdict

The PRWeek General Election panel has come together for one last time to give their final thoughts - and scores out of 10 - for the campaigns run by the main contenders.

Which party ran the best campaign to get the public's votes?
Which party ran the best campaign to get the public's votes?
The last stump has been stood, the final mailshot delivered and the frantic scramble for the hearts of last-minute floating voters is over. The election is now in the hands of the voters.

Last night, some political pundits were calling it for a Tory majority on Friday. But opinions varied wildly as to its size, with the most pessimistic predicting a working majority of 30 while some said Theresa May could have as many as an extra 100 MPs sitting behind her next week.

May has seen her lead in the polls drop from nearly 18 points to below seven since she called the snap election on 18 April, according to a poll tracker for The Telegraph.

The paper published a poll today, conducted before polling booths opened, putting the Conservatives on 43 per cent, ahead of Labour’s 36.5 per cent.

However, on the last day that new voters could register, a record 622,000 applications were sent to the government’s Individual Registration digital service, exceeding the previous record of 525,000 applications on a single day ahead of last year’s EU referendum vote.

Young voters seem to be particularly energised by this election, a fact which could favour Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.

The PRWeek General Election Panel has brought together some of the best public affairs practitioners in the industry, from both sides of the political divide. Now they give their final thoughts on the highlights and the nadirs of the last seven weeks campaigning and give parties a final mark out of 10 for their campaigns. 

Jo-ann Robertson, partner and deputy chief executive, Ketchum London

Highlight: George Osborne getting his revenge on Theresa May with an almost daily swipe at her in the Evening Standard 

Biggest gaff: The Labour Party allowing itself to go in to this election with Jeremy Corbyn as leader, as it is an election they could and should have won

Conservatives: 8/10 the digital campaign has been exceptional and Ruth Davidson has smashed it 
Labour: 4/10 Corbyn, really?
Lib Dem: 2/10 disappointed, this should have been their comeback. 
UKIP: 1/10 irrelevant 
SNP: 5/10 their single issue agenda is losing its momentum 

Stuart Thomson, head of public affairs at Bircham Dyson Bell

Highlight: The leaking of Labour’s manifesto, whether meant to help or hinder, gave the party almost complete control of the agenda for a week and beyond – virtually unheard of during an election period.

Nadir: Whilst we may now have more sympathy for Diane Abbott, her media appearances portrayed a lack of coherence in Labour’s messages but that was nothing compared to the sheer ineptitude of the Conservative’s Dementia Tax.

Conservatives: 5/10
Labour: 7/10                       
Lib Dem: 4/10
UKIP: 2/10
SNP: 6/10

Stephen Day, chief operating officer and managing director of public affairs, Burson-Marsteller UK

Highlight: Leanne Wood’s elegant put-down to Paul Nuttall on his proposal not to pay the EU 'divorce bill': "We all know blokes like you‎ Paul."

Nadir: The unedifying row in the closing days of the campaign by the major parties over terror attacks. Perhaps one of the dirtiest episodes in recent UK campaign history.

Tory Campaign: 3/10 in the UK (Conservatives in Scotland 9/10) 
Labour: 8/10
LibDem: 2/10
Ukip: 3/10
SNP: 6/10

Michelle DiLeo, head of public affairs, FleishmanHillard Fishburn

Highlight: The One Love concert response to the terror attack in Manchester, where a 23 year-old pop star, Ariana Grande, showed more leadership than most of our politicians put together.

Low point: Hard to pick just one, but the social care u-turn is probably the one which will have the most political impact after the election.

Conservative: 4/10
Labour: 4/10
Lib Dem: 4/10
UKIP: 3/10
SNP: 3/10

Final score:
Labour: 23
Conservative: 20
SNP: 20
Lib Dems: 12
UKIP: 9

Overall, our panel has judged Labour to have run the best political campaign, with the Conservatives and SNP in joint second place, while the Lib Dems and UKIP trail in third and fourth place respectively. But will the party that ran the best campaign be the one in power tomorrow?

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