IT’S the Bournemouth hotel where political careers from Winston Churchill’s to Gordon Brown’s were made or broken.

Now the Highcliff is to be the venue for a lecture by a Bournemouth University academic on the play of emotion and power in politics.

The Highcliff Hotel, on St Michael’s Road, is the place where Labour leader Clement Attlee phoned Downing Street in May 1940 to say the party would join a national government, but not if Neville Chamberlain was prime minister.

Winston Churchill was summoned by the King less than two hours later and asked to form a government.

Prime ministers including James Callaghan, Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair all stayed at the Highcliff during party conferences.

Mrs Thatcher was there for her last party conference as leader in 1990, only weeks before she was ousted by her own MPs.

And Gordon Brown consulted pollsters at the Highcliff in 2007 before deciding against capitalising on his early popularity by holding a snap general election.

Professor Candida Yates, from Bournemouth’s faculty of media and communications, will give a lecture at the Highcliff called Understanding the Dynamics of Political Culture and the Play of Emotion and Power.

She argues that we live in an “age of anxiety” in which politics and its images have become more emotional.

She looks at the feelings and fantasies that shape political culture today, the emotions that are stirred up in a populist political climate, and the ways we think and feel about leaders.

She will discuss the highs and lows of what she calls ‘casino politics’, analysing the emotional appeal of leaders such as Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Nigel Farage.

Professor Yates previously worked in the field of psychosocial studies at the University of East London and has developed a new ‘psycho-cultural’ approach to the study of media and culture.

The event, part of the Fusion Inaugural Lecture Series, is on Tuesday, December 5, 6.30 for 7pm.

Places are free and include refreshments, but must be booked in advance. More details and a link for tickets are at