Public Affairs: Soap Box - Michael Burrell, vice-president, Edelman

We are in a whole new world. Public affairs consultants will need to adapt because everything that made sense for a Labour government with an overall majority doesn't make sense any more. Here are five things that have changed in the PA world:

1. Liberal Democrats matter (declaration of interest - I am one). Consultants will need to get their heads around what the party thinks.

2. Parliament matters. We have been used to a situation where all the focus was on getting a message across to ministers and those who influenced them. That will still be important, but now the views and votes of backbench MPs will be more important than for many years and parliamentary process will need to be understood.

3. Officials matter - they always have, but with so many new MPs, we can guess that, at least for a while, their influence will be greater than in the past.

4. The balance of opinion within each party will matter more than ever, as party leaders strive to keep their party united in uncharted territory and to position themselves for the next election.

5. Making a success of self-regulation and being seen to do so will be a priority for the industry to minimise the risk of disproportionate statutory regulation.

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