Tag Archives: liberal democrats

The Conservatives are being targeted like an incumbent Government

9 Apr

Labour, the Lib-Dems and now the SNP all have at least one thing in common, they all seem to have the Tories directly in their crosshairs as the Tories seem to be under the most scrutiny and attack so far in the election campaign.

Of course none of this is a shock, it is only natural for the parties to have a go at each other, but what is striking about the attacks on the Tories is that it would normally be reserved for an incumbent Government, rather than the Opposition. The Tories are obviously the bookies favourite to win the most seats, at the very least the largest number in a Hung Parliament, so they are seen as the biggest threat by all of the parties.

Labour is obviously going after the Tories on everything as their prime competition. The Lib-Dems are trying to impress themselves onto voters as the eligible kingmakers whilst protecting their own seats which is evidenced most recently by Nick Clegg launching a “VAT Bombshell” poster campaign focusing on the Tory tax scheme. Alex Salmond is also trying to scare voters away from voting Tory in Scotland by running with a line that the Tories will go on a “smash-and-grab” spree by reviewing £1billion worth of funding to Scotland.

The latest Lib-Dem attack on the Conservative tax strategy

Of all of the parties, this probably benefits Labour the most as a lot of the “attack-dog” work they would normally have to do is being done by the smaller parties on a far more targeted level than the Labour election war chest would normally allow. The Tories therefore have to spend more time defending their policies and ideas on a national scale as well as batting away attacks on a more geographically targeted scale. Labour, while still needing to point out their perceived flaws in Conservative policy has more of an opportunity to sell in their policies.

Whether this will make a huge difference on Election Day, we will only know on May 7 but what is sure is the Tories would like more scrutiny on Labour, rather than being almost constantly defending their own policies and agenda. Labour would therefore be enjoying the underdog status and it is well-known this is a position where Brown feels very comfortable.

Cross posted with my personal blog.


Lib-Dems overhaul website and digital strategy to increase online audience

11 Nov

Interesting to see what the Liberal-Democrats are doing at the moment to increase their online presence.

Firstly they have overhauled their website which is about time because their old one was awful. I’m not sure about the blue however, but maybe Cameron was right and the Lib-Dems are more aligned to the Tory way of thinking – God I hope not.

Then, according to PR Week,

The Lib Dems will launch a new digital campaigning platform called Act in two weeks, following on from the relaunch of the libdems.org.uk website last week.

A third website, specifically focused on members and activists, will roll out in approximately one month. ‘It will give them the tools and materials they need for campaigning,’ said Lib Dem CEO Chris Fox.

The moves follow last month’s high-profile launch of the Tories’ myconservatives.com e-campaigning platform.

The bulk of the digital work was handled in-house by the party’s digital team, which includes Catherine Turner, David Angell and Sam Lockwood.

Fox added that the party’s technology panel, chaired by MP Lynn Featherstone, oversaw the activity, while digital agency Being worked on the website relaunch.

‘We’ve split the functions into three,’ said Fox. ‘Users want to know what we’re about, then how to do things.’

The Lib-Dems have always been reasonably forward thinking in terms of online politicking and engagement. In late October, the Hansard Society launched a study to say the Lib-Dems had the highest proportion of MPs on Twitter than any party. Labour has numerically much more however.

But, simply having an online presence isn’t the be all and end all of online engagement, it is a matter of what you do with it that matters.

I still think Labour is ahead, but that is just me. I’ve said it before, Labour has the sensational Labour List as well as a number of other sites, which includes bloggers such as activists as well as standing and past MPs. Also there is Bloggers4Labour which is an ok read. Labour Home also exists but I admit I haven’t really gotten to know this site yet, but it seems to be a grass-roots local issues blog/newsite.

The Tories have a presence in the form of personal blogs like Iain Dale and Guido Fawkes, with Conservative Home acting more like a RSS feed than a blog sometimes. Fewer Tory MPs are involved online according to my estimation.

I haven’t done a huge amount of research on it yet, but if anyone out there has the figures for blogging MPs, I’d love to see them. Would be an interesting stat.

Don’t underestimate the Lib-Dems

25 Sep

By Nick Osborne

David Mitchell of Peep Show fame said on Mock the Week last night that the Liberal Democrat Conference was simply a warm up for the Labour and Conservative Conference’s in the coming weeks. Normally, from what I’ve experienced, this was probably the case, although this time I’m not so sure.

Naturally, there has been a fairly large amount of press surrounding the Lib-Dem Conference. It is after all, the first major conference in the last conference season prior to a General Election. Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Vince Cable MP has been named the most trusted politician in the UK. Nick Clegg has found his feet as Leader of the Lib-Dems and as he states he is ready to become Prime Minister. This obviously will never happen, but I predict that the Lib-Dems will play a more significant role in this election than they have played in recent ones.

All elections are fascinating, but this one will potentially benefit the Lib-Dems for a number of reasons:

1.       Increased visibility. I’m sure Nick Clegg was the first to jump at the chance of a three way debate between the leaders. Clegg has nothing to lose and everything to gain. A story on Newsnight earlier this week revolved around Barack Obama’s polling analyst looking at the upcoming election.

Via a number of focus groups he initially determined that Clegg’s biggest problem was the lack of visibility i.e. no one had heard of him or understood what he stood for. However, once they were shown footage of him speaking and discussing his policies, many of the focus group opinions changed. He was seen as likable, strong with reasonable policies. A televised debate would give him a national platform that the Lib-Dems would not have experienced for a long time.

2.       Social media. This kind of fits within the increased visibility section above, but like the other parties, the Lib-Dems are going to be able to push their policies and candidates over the web, something that hasn’t been done during a general election in the UK before. Voters will therefore be more aware than ever before.

3.       Disaffected Labour voters. The term progressive has been over used to a nauseating level in the past two weeks, but, let’s be truly honest the Lib-Dems probably have more right to the term than the Conservatives. With the Lib-Dems wanting to tax the rich via the mansion tax and out flanking Labour from the left by raising the tax-free threshold to £10,000, scrapping trident and ID Cards, angry lefties might just tick the yellow box.

4.       People who can’t bring themselves to vote for David Cameron. In the North, Cameron is still going to struggle, simply because of his Oxbridge, Etonian, Bullingdon club reputation and there will be many voters who won’t be able to bring themselves to tick the Tory box. If they don’t vote for Labour, or god forbid the BNP, the Lib-Dems might just pick up a few votes or even seats here and there.

5.       Expenses. The Lib-Dems were comparatively unscathed as an individual party, although as MPs, they were dragged through the mud with everyone else. The Lib-Dems should have done better in the Euro elections in June, but they did reasonably in the local elections so it is hard to say whether they will garner extra votes from being relatively clean.

6.       Increased voter numbers. The public is peeved with Westminster and this could either mean a record high or low turnout. If it is high, then I think the smaller parties, including the Lib-Dems will pick up a significant number of votes because they are still not seen as one of the major players, yet they are still seen as a viable protest vote destination.

No Party is doing as well as they should be. Sure, the Tories have a commanding lead in the polls and hover just above 40%, Labour mid to high twenties and Lib-Dem low twenties, high teens. That to me suggests some issues. To be clear winners, the Tories should be 45%. Labour should be higher at 30% to be in with a chance, but things will tighten as the elections looms. But the fact is, there looks like around 15% undecideds, even if you give 5% to the minor parties.

The Tories should still get it, but things aren’t as black and white as some pundits claim they are. If the election was called today, it would not take a huge percentage shift for the Tories to be presiding over a hung parliament and Ming has already stated that if the Tories won, the Lib-Dems would be compelled to work with Labour. The Tories are also clearly a tad concerned, hence David Cameron and Eric Pickles calling, slightly ridiculously, for Lib-Dem voters to come home to the Tories.

The ultimate test will be election day, but the fact is, I don’t think the Lib-Dems can necessarily be discounted. They may be a force to be reckoned with, or they might fluff it, they’ve done it before after all. But you never know, come Autumn in 2010, we could be waking up with a few extra pounds in our pockets or less, if you own a whopping great house.

Love to know your thoughts.

Total Politics lists top 75 Lib-Dem Blogs

1 Sep


Below is the top 75 Lib-Dem blogs according to Total Politics. It’s a good list although it is a shame Lord Avebury’s blog has taken a slide from 31 to 68. Lord Avebury is a exceptional gem in the House of Lords and his insights are particularly interesting.


1 Charlotte Gore
2 1 LibDem Voice
3 Himmelgarten Cafe
4 3 Norfolk Blogger
5 Mark Reckons
6 Liberal Vision
7 44 Caron’s Musings
8 5 Liberal England
9 2 People’s Republic of Mortimer
10 4 Quaequam Blog
11 15 Stephen’s Linlithgow Journal
12 18 Jennie Rigg
13 11 Cicero’s Songs
14 7 Millennium Dome Elephant
15 6 Lynne Featherstone MP
16 Dude the Dog
17 8 Peter Black AM
18 9 Love & Liberty
19 Andrew Reeves
20 39 Irfan Ahmed
21 24 474 Votes to Win
22 Always Win When You’re Singing
23 Freedom Central
24 14 Jock Coats
25 42 Sound of Gunfire
26 Willie Rennie MP
27 Freedom & Whisky
28 LibDem Blogs
29 Hagley Road to Ladywood
30 Paula Keaveney
31 28 Fraser Macpherson
32 26 Jonathan Fryer
33 Chris Davies MEP
34 Agent Orange
35 Liberal Bureaucracy
36 Mark Pack
37 Pink Dog
38 Liberal Revolution
39 Birkdale Focus
40 John Hemming MP
41 32 Anything Caron Can Do
42 45 Disgruntled Radical
43 Wit & Wisdom
44 Duncan Borrowman
45 Nick Clegg MP
46 Nigel Ashton
47 Social Liberal Forum
48 Steve Webb MP
49 The Speaker
50 Belsize LibDems
51 21 Hug a Hoodie
52 23 Orange by Name
53 37 Anders Hanson
54 John Barrett MP
55 Katy Gordon
56 Max Atkinson
57 Liberal Youth Scotland
58 Moments of Clarity
59 Adrian Sanders MP
60 29 A Lanson Boy
61 38 Eric Avebury
62 47 Gavin’s Gaily Gigest
64 Liberal Dose
65 Mary Reid
63 43 Antony Hook
67 22 Jo Christie-Smith
68 16 Lindylooz Muse
69 Swindon South Liberal Democrats
70 Niles’s Blog
71 13 Neil Stockley
72 LibCync
73 What You Can Get Away With
74 Wouldn’t it be Scarier
75 Richard Allan