Much has been made of the Tories’ foray into the web on a national stage. There’s an in-depth feature about the party’s on-line strategy in this month’s edition of Wired – print version only so rush out and buy.
The Conservative Party is clearly also taking the fight to the doorstep. Marginal seats are where the election is lost and won. This poster site was snapped at Hazel Grove station at the weekend. Hazel Grove and Cheadle, the constituency immediately adjacent are both marginals. On the bottom left there’s a URL for http://www.annesleyabercorn.com a site dedicated to Annesley Abercorn the Tory candidate. This strategy is being replicated across the marginal seats.
A quick look at the site and you can see that it’s rich in social media content. Centre stage is a YouTube clip featuring a constituency pub, a local pie-shop and a quick interview with the Coronation Street stalwart Bill Roache (Ken Barlow to you). There are interviews with local people and a clip with the party leader sounding as if he actually know a bit about the place. There’s also a link to a Facebook page.
Slightly less compelling given that Annesley is a Londoner is the endorsement from Boris Johnson, oh and the London Bus that they have given him for the campaign. I guess there’s local and local.
The user-generated mashup that has been the scourge of pre-election advertising campaigns this year is also coming to a video clip near you.
There is a wonderfully irreverent site called Speechbreaker.co.uk that allows users to re-edit speeches by the three main party leaders. It’s quick and fun and you can post the results to YouTube. Some enterprising users are using alternative videos over which to dub the audio with some almost disturbing results, as you can see for yourself.
‘MPs turn to Twitter to talk to voters’ shouts the headline on the Daily Telegraph site today. If the august, if conservative (small ‘c’) columns of the Telegraph are saying it then it must be so. Well it aint. Yes there are lots of MPs on Twitter now, if you call just over a hundred out of 646 MPs a lot.
Taking its most of the stats from Tweetminster the Telegraph also notes that John Prescott has over 13,000 followers (at the time of publication it was actually slightly under). Hardly enough to guarantee a Labour landslide. With months to go before the US presidential election the candidates were counting their online support in terms of many hundreds of thousands. Most MP candidates have a few hundred followers. In fact @Election10 beats a lot of them hands down. The online influence of bloggers like Guido is far greater than any MP or parliamentary prospect.
There are only weeks to go and whilst the web will undoubtedly play a bigger part than ever before it’s not the MPs who will be setting the agenda, least of all with their paltry twitter followings.
According to Martin Bryant writing in The Next Web, the DIY David Cameron site covered in this parish a few days ago briefly overtook both the US Republican and Democrat web sites in terms of traffic, making it possibly the most popular political site in the world, for a brief time. Read the full story on The Next Web.
It has become a feature of UK general elections for parties to demonize (remember Tony Blair and his Demon Eyes or Hague in a Thatcher wig?) the leaders of the opposing parties in poster campaigns. Now we can all have a go. One place where you can get started is the ‘Make Your Own David’ application at AndyBarefoot.com. He doesn’t support Labour or the Conservatives. LibDem then. There have been over 30,000 versions so far. We rather like this interpretation that was drawn to our attention by the Sunday Times columnist, India Knight. To view a selection of the best posters go to mydavidcameron.com.
John Bercow MP has been elected Speaker of the House of Commons to succeed Michael Martin who resigned from the post in June as a result of a lack of parliamentary and public confidence arising from the expenses scandal. He was the first Speaker to be forced out of office for over 300 years.
Bercow was elected on the third ballot of a secret ballot, the first time such a sytem has been used for the election of a Speaker. The final round of the ballot was between Bercow and Sir George Young MP. John Bercow led in all three rounds of the ballot.
The Speaker receives a salary of £72,862 per annum.