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The social web's impact on the election

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The social web's impact on the election

Postby Dave » Thu 22 Apr 2010 16:20 GMT

Even in just five years, the amount of impact the discussion on the web is having on the campaign seems to have increased exponentially.

As Ruggie commented on Chinwags, Nick Clegg seems to have gone viral. Not only has "I agree with Nick" turned into a slogan since the first TV debate a week ago - that might have happened anyway, albeit not so quickly and easily.

But the negative personal coverage of him in today's newspapers by both the Daily Telegraph and especially the Daily Mail - whose lead story today was pretty shoddy - has resulted in a huge backlash on Twitter, with the ironic hashtag #nickcleggsfault making it to the top of Twitter tag searches and staying there for a large chunk of today.

It'll be interesting to see what happens on 6 May, that's for sure. My prediction is that the Lib Dems will benefit from a major surge among first-time, relatively young and Internet-savvy voters - not least because the Electoral Commission reported a very healthy response to their push for last-minute registrations.

But that may be just wishful thinking on my part. ;-)
Last edited by Dave on Fri 11 Jun 2010 07:27 GMT, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby ruggie » Fri 23 Apr 2010 17:24 GMT

I agree, Dave. Even without the social web, this was likely to be a good election for Lib Dems - probably the first time they've looked worth voting for since before Owen & Com defected to the party. Wonder if the UK is going to have to learn how to run with coalition governments for a while?
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Postby Dave » Fri 23 Apr 2010 17:45 GMT

It wouldn't be a bad thing, in my view. I think Cameron's suggestion that a hung parliament means a lot of horse-trading is spurious - there's plenty enough of that even with a majority government.

Let's not kid ourselves that parties are monolithic. Otherwise how do you explain eg Ken Clarke and John Redwood being in the same government - or John Prescott and Peter Mandelson?

(BTW, Owen never defected to the Liberals - in fact, he refused to go along with the SDP merger with them in the late '80s. And now he's more or less a Tory peer.)

It's bizarre that although the Lib/SDP Alliance got a far bigger share of the vote in 1983 (over 25%) than the Lib Dems have ever managed, they still didn't get anything like the number of seats the Lib Dems have consistently got since 1997 (never less than 40). As clear an illustration as you could wish for that the FPTP voting system is prone to throwing up ridiculous anomalies.
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Postby ruggie » Sat 24 Apr 2010 06:22 GMT

Shows how much trouble I take with my memory of things political - I jst remembered Owen getting a lot of the publicity at the time, but didn't bother to remember what for :roll:

Yes, the fortunes of the third party at any time in British politics seems a good indicator of one sideeffect of first-past-the-post voting. It takes a serious upset of some kind to topple the weaker of the two major parties.
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