When the Government's comms team went head-to-head with the junior doctors ahead of their first strike last month, it expected victory in the battle for public opinion.
After all, doctors, even those in the junior ranks, are privileged members of the professional class and enjoy salaries well above the national average.
But, in the days immediately preceding the first strike, pollsters judged two-thirds of the public resoundingly backed the doctors in their dispute, which just goes to show how bad governments can be at gauging public mood.
Even a concerted attempt by The Sun to paint the doctors as Champagne-swilling socialists backfired spectacularly when junior doctors retorted on social media by sharing unglamorous stories and photographs of themselves at work.
While the decision to continue to offer emergency cover during the strike was, doubtless, driven by clinical imperatives, it was a also great tactic to keep the public on side and public affairs professionals mainly agreed doctors had won the first round.
Whether public opinion will change following a second strike last week remains to be seen.
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