The digital campaign gets underway for #GE2019

Here it is then: the first, really, truly, no-it-really-is-this-time, digital election campaign.

Possibly.

But it is certainly true that the main parties have hit the digital campaign trail hard.

Labour released this incredibly slick promo that demonstrates some of Jeremy Corbyn’s highs from the past three years, as well as neatly encapsulating its anti-establishment message.

Labour had the best of the 2017 General Election campaign, as I have written elsewhere. And its early efforts this time around look set to build on that success. Tight messaging aimed at specific audiences, with heavy emphasis on Rebuilding Britain.

The Conservatives also focussed on their leader. Demanding that the electorate Back Boris to Deliver Brexit. The Conservatives have also been quick to try to outflank Labour on commitment to the NHS.

The platforms of choice are inevitably Facebook and Twitter. Labour and the Tories are also putting more effort into Instagram. Labour making use of behind the scenes UGC to frame Corbyn as a dynamic figure.

What does all this tell us?

The parties are clearly spending significantly on the production of high-quality content. These are not add-ons but core messages designed to convince the electorate. And all the parties’ social media operations look much more professional than in previous years.

Some pundits had suggested that Labour would want to use Corbyn less prominently than in 2017, given the low level of his personal polling. The first day of campaigning has clearly demonstrated that’s not true.

This looks set to be a presidential-style campaign with leaders’ personalities and beliefs at the heart of the debate.

And the use of outriders to spread the message further will also be a feature of the campaign. Look at this fund-raising appeal from Momentum that was shared by Jeremy Corbyn.

Thus far, the gloves have stayed on. The posts and videos have been presenting a positive vision.

But don’t expect that to last. In 2017, the most shared videos were attack ads. It is likely that the knives will come out before too long.

Author: Matt Walsh

Journalist

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