Messina may have been a huge asset to the Tories – but the campaign was run by Lynton Crosby, the Karl Rove of Australia. He is the man who has won election after election, at state and national level, for Australia’s Liberal Party (which is actually deeply conservative). He was the man who twice got the Conservative Boris Johnson elected as Mayor of London in a city that is solidly Labour.
Since November 2012, Crosby has been David Cameron’s chief strategist – and, alongside Chancellor George Osborne, the most powerful man in the British Conservative Party. He’s also widely credited with being the architect of the party’s election victory last week.
Politically, Crosby and Messina are complete opposites. But they share a love of data, a contempt for the armchair strategists in the media and a habit of winning elections without anyone realising what they’re actually up to.