Tony Blair's return a 'danger' for Gordon Brown, while Conservatives launch new posters

Gordon Brown could be making a mistake enlisting former Prime Minister Tony Blair's help in the run-up to the general election, public affairs experts have warned.

Set for return: Tony Blair
Set for return: Tony Blair

Fleishman-Hillard head of corporate communications and issues management David Hart said: ‘The danger for Gordon Brown is that the return of Tony Blair to electioneering will expose his own style of oratory and ability to connect with ordinary voters.'

The former Prime Minister is due to give a speech tomorrow in his former constituency of Sedgefield, County Durham. He is expected to dismiss claims that David Cameron is his natural successor and has modernised the Tories.

Lexington Communications director Gidon Freeman said: 'The Blair move is double-edged. There are people who have lost faith in Labour under Brown, but there are plenty who felt let down by Blair and won't appreciate the reminder.

'You therefore have to assume the purpose of bringing him back is to re-bag the Tory voters who fell for Blair in 1997 and seemed, until recently, to be drifting over to Cameron. In this respect it may be a wise move but only at the margins.'

Mandate Communications CEO Sacha Deshmukh said Blair's involvement may be unnecessary. He said: ‘In my view the Labour message has moved on from just a few weeks ago, and the need for Blair to provide cover has diminished. I think it is going to be relatively neutral, but certain to dominate the headlines for a day or two nevertheless.'

Meanwhile, the Conservative Party has launched a series of posters designed by M&C Saatch personally attacking Gordon Brown.

Shadow education secretary Michael Gove launched the campaign yesterday, putting Brown's record at the heart of the election campaign.

The posters are being launched alongside a new analysis of Labour's time in power.

The set of six posters show Brown grinning and features captions including ‘I caused record youth unemployment: Vote for me', ‘I doubled the national debt: Vote for me' and ‘I Let 80,000 criminals out early: Vote for me'.

Lexington's Freeman warned that the posters' negative messaging may prove divisive. He noted: 'Going this negative may be more effective than the positive posters they've done so far, but it risks backfiring and contributing to the general anti-politics mood that may not benefit Cameron.'


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