‘Get Brexit done’: Infamous Tory slogan was inspired by disgruntled Yorkshire woman

Catchphrase credited with helping party win 2019 election was first uttered in Bradford focus group

Colin Drury
Saturday 04 September 2021 19:53
<p>Johnson campaigns during the general election to get Brexit done</p>

Johnson campaigns during the general election to get Brexit done

Boris Johnson’s infamous “Get Brexit Done” slogan was dreamed up after a disgruntled Yorkshire woman first uttered the phrase in a focus group, it has been revealed.

The three-word catchphrase – credited with helping the Tories win the 2019 general election – was formulated soon after the woman said it during the session in Bradford, according to the party’s election mastermind Sir Lynton Crosby.

“This is not widely known and certainly wouldn’t be claimed by Dominic Cummings but actually there is a lady somewhere in Bradford who in a focus group made the simple request, ‘Can the government just get Brexit done?’” he said.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Post during a publicity jaunt to Manchester, Sir Lynton added: “We were doing the research for the Conservative Party at the time. That provided the foundation phrase that created the opportunity to get Brexit done. It was relevant, the context was right and it was simple and clear.”

Such was the power of the slogan that many analysts have said it not only helped Mr Johnson win power but was also a significant reason for his thumping landslide victory – and his success in Labour’s former northern heartlands.

“It appealed to leavers but also … appealed to some remainers who are sick to the back teeth of Brexit and want to get it over with,” said Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary, University of London, at the time.

Sir Lyntonm who also guided the Tories to victory in 2015 and 2017, also revealed the infamous poster depicting then Labour leader Ed Miliband in the pocket of the SNP’s Alex Salmond was also inspired by a focus group.

He said: “I remember a lady in a cardigan in a Liberal Democrat seat who said, ‘Imagine if Ed Miliband didn’t win in his own right and was propped up by Alex Salmond, they would be calling the shots and we would end up paying for it’.”

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