Centre for Research in Communication and Culture


13 Feb 2019

New book revisits momentous 2017 General Election as the UK contemplates returning to the polls

A new book on political communication in Britain aims to provide a unique insight into the most recent General Election – a campaign that was about many things in addition to Brexit – as the UK again contemplates returning to the polls.

Lead editor Professor Dominic Wring, of the School of Social Sciences, has worked with more than 25 academics and practitioners to create a new Palgrave Macmillan book that examines the 2017 General Election from the vantage point of those who fought, reported and researched the campaign.

Against prior expectations, the 2017 General Election proved to be particularly dramatic and it repeatedly stunned commentators - from its surprise calling, right through to its frenetic conclusion. 

In seven weeks, a dominant Prime Minister saw her once seemingly unassailable lead in the polls eroded as support for her previously criticised rival surged. 

The subsequent restoration of two-party dominance contributed to the return of a hung parliament with profound consequences for both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn.

The book, Political Communication in Britain: Campaigning, Media and Polling in the 2017 General Election, revisits the campaign that is likely to live long in the public imagination.

Contributors include Paul Brand, Political Correspondent for ITV News, Craig Gent, Senior Editor at Novara Media, Isla Glaister, a journalist at Sky News, Damian Lyons Lowe, Chief Executive of Survation, and Keiran Pedley, Director of Public Affairs at Ipsos MORI.

The book features chapters on broadcast, print, social and digital media coverage as well reviews of main party campaigns and the performance of the polls.

Chapter titles include:

  • Seven weeks is a long time in politics
  • Broadcasting the snap election: surprising politics but familiar production
  • ‘Strong and stable’ to ‘weak and wobbly’: The Conservative election campaign
  • “Yer jaiket is hanging by a shooglie peg!”: Fear, groupthink and outliers
  • Seismographs for youthquakes – how do we know how the public voted in British general elections?
  • Why polling matters: the role of data in our democracy

Of the book, Professor Wring said: “With growing speculation that the UK is about to go to the polls once again, Political Communication in Britain offers a valuable reminder as to the unpredictable nature of an election from the varied perspectives of a team of expert commentators including those who worked in front of the cameras as well as behind the scenes during the 2017 campaign.”

Political Communication in Britain: Campaigning, Media and Polling in the 2017 General Election is the 10th volume in a series that began nearly four decades ago.

For more information or to purchase a copy, visit the dedicated Palgrave Macmillan webpage.