"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.

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Tony Blair won't endorse the Labour leader - Jeremy Corbyn's fans are celebrating

The thrice-elected Prime Minister is no fan of the new Labour leader. 

Labour heavyweights usually support each other - at least in public. But the former Prime Minister Tony Blair couldn't bring himself to do so when asked on Sky News.

He dodged the question of whether the current Labour leader was the best person to lead the country, instead urging voters not to give Theresa May a "blank cheque". 

If this seems shocking, it's worth remembering that Corbyn refused to say whether he would pick "Trotskyism or Blairism" during the Labour leadership campaign. Corbyn was after all behind the Stop the War Coalition, which opposed Blair's decision to join the invasion of Iraq. 

For some Corbyn supporters, it seems that there couldn't be a greater boon than the thrice-elected PM witholding his endorsement in a critical general election. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

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