7 July 2021

The CapX Podcast: Frank Luntz on what Britain really thinks


Few people know more about the language of politics and how to effectively communicate with the public than Frank Luntz.

An award-winning political and communications consultant, pollster and pundit, Dr. Luntz has decades of experience as an election consultant and commentator on national elections all over the world. He has worked for more than 50 Fortune 500 companies and CEOs, and he is the author of three New York Times bestsellers. He also has friends in high places, having conducted his very first political polling for the Oxford Union campaign of one Boris Johnson.

For the last six weeks Frank has been a Visiting Fellow at our parent organisation, the Centre for Policy Studies. During that time he’s been conducting a mega-survey of British public opinion, delving in huge detail into our attitudes to moral values, capitalism, technology and the culture wars. We sat down to discuss the new centre of gravity of British politics, and why Frank sees himself as a ‘reverse Paul Revere’, journeying across the Atlantic to warn us ‘the Americans are coming’.



Frank Luntz on…

Patriotism and the left:

[Swing voters] believe in the country. They believe in traditions, they believe that Britain is inherently a good country. And there are a lot of people on the left who don’t. 

The challenge for the Tories

The Conservative challenge right now is that they don’t realise, I don’t think, that the public wants to help those who haven’t been helped…too often you don’t hear that, from the Conservative Party leaders. Too often you hear about the success stories, rather than ‘we need to do more, and we need to do better’.

How Johnson can retain his appeal

Boris should be the candidate of hope and optimism and a better future. And there have to be other other people within his government that, in essence, play the heavy hand. I think it’s up to the Chancellor to say, “Look, we can’t do this. We can’t be this. You’ve got to say no.” Boris should be the person says yes.

The language of capitalism

The truth is, capitalism itself is dead. Not the theory, but the language, the labelling. The public either wants an “open economy” or “economic freedom”…Economic Freedom is the small business. It’s the restauranteur. It’s the owner of the apothecary or the pharmaceutical companies, the owner of the local supermarket. ‘Capitalism’ is about the FTSE 100 or about Wall Street and that’s something the public doesn’t support any more.

A warning from America

I look at myself as a reverse Paul Revere. Just as he rode the streets of Boston, warning people “the British are coming, the British are coming”, I am walking through the streets of London yelling “Don’t let the Americans come because you’re not gonna like what they’re bringing with them!”.

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John Ashmore is Editor of CapX.