Page 3 Profile: Lynton Crosby, Pollster

 

Aha, the Wizard of Oz. How did he get that name?

Crosby, the Australian political tactician hired this weekend to run the Conservative party's 2015 general election campaign, pulls few punches, and takes few prisoners, when it comes to winning votes. He was named "The Wizard of Oz" for his position behind the curtains of successful campaigns, but has been regularly lambasted for his political strategy. While running Boris Johnson's 2008 mayoral campaign he is reported to have told the hopeful candidate: "If you let us down, we will cut your f***ing knees off."

So he's an experienced operator?

Before he came to the UK to work for Michael Howard in 2005, Crosby helped steward the Australian PM, John Howard, to four national victories. But he has been branded an "attack dingo" for the methods he used to do it. In 2001, he was linked to claims in the Australian election that asylum seekers had thrown children overboard to drown in order to secure safe-passage into the country.

So why on earth was he hired?

The Conservative party chairman, Grant Schapps, said the party was hiring Crosby because he had a "proven track record" and was a "serious campaigner" who can "bring a focus that's required to managing campaigns".