"Vote Labservatives: for more of the same"

New guerrilla marketing strategy attempts to position Lib Dems as the only real alternative.

Lib-Dem-Labservative-post-007 

 

Another day, another poster.

This latest effort is part of a new guerrilla campaign by the Liberal Democrats, aiming to take advantage of these politically disillusioned times and position the third party as the only real alternative.

It's not just a poster, either. There is a whole Labservative website (with, perhaps, a touch of sour grapes -- "Of course, we don't need a campaign at all -- after 13 consecutive general election victories we can be forgiven a smidgen of complacency"), asking voters why they support "the party of the status quo", and featuring the Labservative leader, Gorvid Camerown.

A slightly tongue-in-cheek, off-centre approach is a welcome addition to the election campaign, and appears to show a greater understanding of new media than the recent, disastrous attempts by the Conservatives. It's about engaging the electorate rather than hammering home the same message with a slick site (cf: Cash Gordon). The Guardian quotes Shaun McIlrath, executive creative director at the advertising company behind the campaign, as saying: "It shouldn't be about patronising an already cynical audience."

Will it be a viral sensation? And, more importantly, will this translate into votes? It seems unlikely at the moment that party politics could capture the popular imagination, but, in what we are ceaselessly being told is the first internet election, it will be interesting to watch how this gimmick is received.

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Samira Shackle is a freelance journalist, who tweets @samirashackle. She was formerly a staff writer for the New Statesman.

Photo: Getty
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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for International Trade.

Only Nixon, it is said, could have gone to China. Only a politician with the impeccable Commie-bashing credentials of the 37th President had the political capital necessary to strike a deal with the People’s Republic of China.

Theresa May’s great hope is that only Liam Fox, the newly-installed Secretary of State for International Trade, has the Euro-bashing credentials to break the news to the Brexiteers that a deal between a post-Leave United Kingdom and China might be somewhat harder to negotiate than Vote Leave suggested.

The biggest item on the agenda: striking a deal that allows Britain to stay in the single market. Elsewhere, Fox should use his political capital with the Conservative right to wait longer to sign deals than a Remainer would have to, to avoid the United Kingdom being caught in a series of bad deals. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.