A new way to measure who is fit to govern the UK

July 29, 2022

As the battle to become the UK’s next Prime Minister intensifies, we have developed a new way of comparing the candidates based on their characters, and not superficial policy promises.

Following the departure of UK Prime Minister and party leader Boris Johnson, the Conservative Party is in the process of selecting its new leader, and one of either former Chancellor Rishi Sunak or Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will be elected by the party’s members come the 5th of September.

Throughout their leadership campaigns, both have made their pitches about their characters, and why they are most suitable to lead. Personal character traits, particularly integrity, have played a major role in global politics in recent years on both sides of the Atlantic, proving just as important, if not more so than policy direction.

However, the ‘normal’ ways of assessing the suitability of candidates for leadership, especially when it comes to the political arena, are flawed and very often superficial. Political biases come into play, making it challenging for people to truly identify the strengths and weaknesses of candidates, and draw up an impartial view.

This month, we have launched a new platform to change this. Using our expertise here at ViewsHub in character assessment, feedback, and analysis of team performance, we have created a new way of comparing those politicians vying to govern the United Kingdom. It draws on our unique TeamDNA solution, which helps team members to understand the behavioural traits others see in them, and how they fit with their colleagues in how they work, think, and interact.

Building on our experience developing a platform to accompany 2020’s US Presidential election, the platform focuses on two key areas – character traits and performance – to produce an in-depth assessment of candidates and what people truly think about their ability to lead.

Using the OCEAN model, the survey measures people’s views on 23 of the candidates’ character traits across three categories: their ‘energy’; ‘interpersonal’ skills; and ‘intelligence’. Within each category users position, on a sliding scale, each of the candidate’s traits. One example features a scale ranging from ‘self-centred’ through to ‘selfless’. The survey then aggregates in real-time the respondents’ results to determine each candidates’ top three traits, enabling anyone to compare the candidates across each of the 23 traits and to see how each compare with Boris Johnson.

Those participating in the poll can also score each candidate’s performance out of five across six areas: ‘gets things done’; ‘has the right skills and competence for the job’; ‘responds well to changing circumstances’; ‘responds quickly and positively to stakeholders’; ‘inspires others to do their best’; and ‘earns trust from allies and respect from adversaries’. These ratings are then converted into the final score of overall performance.

By assessing candidates’ character traits and their performance in key areas, this platform provides a far simpler way of deciding who, in people’s opinion, is fit to lead the UK. It will run for the duration of the leadership contest and beyond, allowing people to compare whoever wins the leadership race with the Labour Party leader Keir Starmer and other political figures as discussion switches from the leadership race to potential general elections. You can also compare the aggregate behavioural traits of Labour’s leading politicians against the Conservative’s leading politicians – a proxy for the culture of the two teams.

As more of you take part in the survey – available here – the more in-depth the analysis of the candidates will become. We’re looking forward to seeing what the survey will reveal about the candidates’ perceived characters, and we will share an update on the key findings with you in next month’s edition, although you can simply check the rolling real-time results on the page itself.