The PN is currently claiming that the PL was unprepared for the 2022 election, on the basis that it has not yet launched its manifesto. However, when analysing the last two general elections, one could conclude that this may not be a case of unpreparedness. Rather, it probably boils down to the PL’s choice of strategy.
The 2013 general election was a 2-month long campaign. The PL presented its manifesto exactly halfway (a month) through the campaign. Again, the PL presented its 2017 general election manifesto halfway through the campaign (week 3 in a 5-week election campaign). This year, the PL announced its manifesto launch for this week – you guessed it – halfway through the campaign.
Launching the manifesto halfway through the election, rather than at the start of the campaign, has both its advantages and disadvantages. The PL seems to consider an election campaign as a marathon lasting many weeks. Therefore, it seems that launching the manifesto too early might result in losing some momentum. Furthermore, it may see that undecided voters choose where to align only late in the campaign.
On the other hand, late publication carries the risk for the PL that the PN takes over the narrative of the election and steals the focus the PL’s campaign. To mitigate the disadvantages, the PL is launching its flagship proposals by sector in morning press conferences. Whether this will pay off, is something we will find out later on in the campaign,