The LibDem bandwagon stepped up another gear today with perhaps the most effective voter inspired social media initiative of the campaign to date. It’s a Facebook Group called “We got Rage Against the Machine to #1, we can get the LibDems into office!” It cleverly echoes, or should I say explicitly refers to, the Facebook campaign that upset the X-Factor dominance of the pop charts at Christmas.
It has grabbed the post leaders debate mood and membership has rocketed in the days since, with it passing the 100,000 fan mark this afternoon. A week ago and before the debate took place it had just 10,00o fans. It has become an online rallying point for supporters and activists. and a place to share irreverent campaign collateral, like the image above.
You need to be on the electoral register to vote in the UK general elections. You are not automatically registered even if you pay council tax, so you should check to see if you are on the list of everyone who is registered to vote.
You need to register with your local authority, but there is a great website provided by the Electoral Commission called About My Vote. It will show you how to register to vote and once you’ve completed your form, you’ll need to print it off, sign it, and send it back to your local electoral registration office. You can get their address and other contact details by entering your postcode on the site.
Don’t hesitate. The deadline is tomorrow.
After the TV debate turned the election into a three way contest it was widely predicted that the campaign would enter a tougher phase. Step forward Roger Godsiff, Labour MP for Birmingham, Sparkbrook & Small Heath MP. It appears that the MP defending a three way marginal seat is not averse to a dirty trick or two.
Birmingham blogger Anthony Herron revealed that since the TV debate Godsiff’s campaign has descended into accusing the LibDems of promoting the interests of a series of paedophiles and murderers. This leaflet is so breathtaking that one can only imagine it to be fake, but if we turn to the really rather brilliant TheStraightChoice.org a website that publishes election leaflets on the web, nearly all of them in fact, it publishes the same leaflet with details showing it was delivered today.
So who is this MP, that is so desperate to take the gloves off? Well the web tells us that too and if we look at his entry on They Work For You we’ll discover that he had the 2nd biggest expense claim of the 2008/09 session at a whopping £189,338. Nice chap.
A poll in tomorrow’s Mail on Sunday puts the Liberal Democrats in poll position with two and a half weeks to go before May 6th and the real vote. The breakdown of the BPIX – Mail on Sunday is as follows:
Liberal Democrats 32%
The other polls published in the national press tomorrow have the Tories in first place but with a much reduced margin and the LibDems are second in one with Brown’s Labour party hanging on to second place in the Telegraph/ICM prediction.
The Sunday Mirror/Independent on Sunday/ComRes poll has the Conservatives on 31% (-4), Labour on 27 per cent (-2) and the Liberal Democrats on 29 per cent (+8). The Sunday Telegraph/ICM poll puts the Tories on 34 per cent (-3), Labour on 29 per cent (-2) and the Lib Dems on 27 per cent (+7). YouGov and the Sunday Times have the Conservatives at 33%, Labour 30% and Liberal Democrats 29%.
In the Leaders Debate Cameron uttered the immortal line “a 40-year old black man made the point to me: ‘I came here when I was six, I’ve served in the Royal Navy for 30 years”. The fact that Cameron thought it important to make the point that he had conversation with people irrespective of ethnicity came across as preposterous – as daft as the idea that this guy had joined the navy at the age of 10.
Well it didn’t take long for the web to take the proverbial with the Cameron anecdote generator. The model is the same as the ‘airbrushed for change’ poster generator and it uses the same mug shot. Click the poster to take you to the site and randomise the anecdote.
Today’s YouGov poll reveals a huge surge in support for the Liberal Democrats. Nick Clegg’s performance in the first of three TV debates has put the LibDems in 2nd place ahead of Labour and just three points behind the Tories. The figures published in The Sun this morning show Conservative 33%(-4), Labour 28%(-3), LibDem 30%(+8). The effect on our poll of polls average will be seen if and when further polls reflect this shift.
The LibDem bounce is likely to enjoy the considerable oxygen of publicity which may boost their share further setting up a scenario where they are a contender genuine contender for to win, in time for the 2nd TV debate next Thursday. So is this the TV election or can it still be influenced by social media. Well it is both. The verdict on who had won the election came first from social networks. Social media analytics companies were measuring sentiment in real time and publishing the data whilst the debate was still in flow. Clegg’s performance delivered 10,000 additional fans on Facebook and in the coming days the force of the groundswell in social media support for the third party (or do we now say second?) will make the leap into mainstream commentary.
A video clip from last night’s election debate was blocked on YouTube today on the basis of copyright infringement. Yes in case you were wondering this is the same ITV that used YouTube to pump out clips of Susan Boyle driving millions of viewers to their Saturday night ratings grabber ‘Britain’s Got Talent’. No copyright problems for that show.
So what was the real reason for the cease and delete order to our favourite clips network? ITV discovered what Skittles or the organisers of any social media conference could have told them. Using an unmoderated live twitter feed is asking for trouble.
Nick Brett or @MullerNick as he is better known normally has an audience of 32 Followers but ITV handed him another 9 and a half million when they showed his first class commentary on Cameron’s TV debate performance.
The social media pundits, Election10 included, all said twitter would play an important role in the televised debate. They weren’t wrong.