Political Promise

Twit-to-Who?

In Will Obeney on January 25, 2010 at 10:17 pm

The race for Number 10 has started. It seems as though we will know who has won by the morning of the 7th of May. Unless Bob Ainsworth’s ‘inadvertent’ slip was more carefully calculated than we think. The opinion polls suggest a large victory for the Conservatives, but will it be as easy for them to beat Labour as these numbers say? Despite the gap between the two parties being large it has closed somewhat since the Summer, with the Conservatives losing popularity directly to Labour.

Barack Obama harnessed the internet like no one else ever had, and it proved very successful. In my opinion this suggests the web will prove important in the next few months, and Labour have got it well and truly cornered. A recent study by Tweetminster shows the Labour party and its associates (including MPs) have three times more Twitter followers than the Tories, 113 00 to their paltry 36 874.

Don’t underestimate the power of social networking sites. Information can be swapped around faster than ever before and the short nature of ‘tweets’ mean they are easy to digest; links often accompany tweets, meaning the information is more easily accessible. They could also entice the younger generation out to the polls, whom would probably vote for whoever persuaded them to go out in the first place.

I don’t think this will be a major factor in the election as it was in America, but every little helps and the Conservatives still require a huge swing in seats. Both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have been slow to take up this new form of speaking to the people, and they may rue it in the long term.

Will Obeney.

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  1. Definitely a good point on the impact of social networking, particularly with engaging the younger generation.
    For Brown however, I think the televised debates could be major plus for him. Cameron will have to talk about the issues of the day face to face. In an election climate, I suspect Brown will come off better. The point about the huge swing of seats is also well made. If i’m not mistaken they require a larger swing than Blair achieved in 1997. Added to this they have not had a Clause 4 moment as such (there was a good article in the New Statesmen recently about that). All in all,certainly not a foregone conclusion.

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