During 1997-2001 the Conservative Party utilised many concepts and techniques from marketing but this yielded little success in the general election. This article explores the story behind this result: the attempts made by the leader William Hague to use political marketing and make the Party more responsive to voters, the obstacles he faced in changing the Conservatives at all levels; the final product they offered to voters in 2001, and the Party’s communication efforts in the years before the election and the campaign. Overall, analysis indicates the difficulty but also the importance of marketing political parties.

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