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7 April 2010

Should a campaign revolve around a leader?

Parties' home pages make interesting viewing.

By James Macintyre

A quick click on the three main parties’ websites, during what is still in effect the calm before the storm, makes for a noteworthy contrast.

The Conservatives go for one major “story” next to a big picture of a determined-looking David Cameron.

The Lib Dems go for an even bigger picture of Nick Clegg.

But Labour‘s site is an altogether more mixed affair, with more text than pictures, and images of anyone who has “posted” in recent hours, from Jack Straw to Douglas Alexander to Peter Mandelson. It also has Tony Blair’s Trimdon speech prominently displayed on the home page.

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Some would say that the party is trying to “hide” Gordon Brown, who appeared with the cabinet outside Downing Street to call the election yesterday. But it could also be said that, by relying on their young leaders so heavily instead of presenting a full team, the Tories and the Lib Dems are taking a risk.