The tables are being turned on Theresa May in readiness for another possible general election this year. If the plan works, it could pave the way for a majority Labour government. And when the Tories realise what’s happening, they’ll probably be furious; as the idea is one they used during the last general election campaign.
Whatever May can do, we can do better
Campaign group Torchlight UK has launched its Bypass the mainstream press and DEFEAT the Tories initiative. Co-founded by writer Tom Pride, it aims to start targeting the Tories’ top marginal seats now, in the hope of defeating Conservative MPs in the next general election. Whenever that may be. And the campaign is raising money to oust the Tories in an ingenious way: using micro-marketing in the same way Conservative spin doctor Lynton Crosby did in the last general election.
The idea is a simple one. Torchlight UK is crowdfunding to pay for local marketing campaigns on social media. The idea of micro-marketing is that an organisation designs adverts which target specific demographics. So, for example, if a Tory MP had voted to increase tuition fees, Torchlight UK would run an advert showing this fact. It would then specifically drop the ad onto the social media timelines of voters aged 18 to 24. Or more broadly, if the Tory MP in question had voted to cut NHS funding, and a local hospital or A&E was closing, voters in the constituency would be informed of that fact.
Spreading the truth
As Torchlight UK says:
By simple use of demographics, originally designed to be used for commercial marketing on Facebook and other social media platforms, it is relatively easy to accurately target people geographically and demographically on social media with messages, or adverts, or memes or articles designed to appeal to very specific demographic and geographic variables.
But this is NOT about manipulating voters to change their opinions. This is about by-passing the mainstream media – which is overwhelmingly pro-Tory – and making sure information and the facts get to the electorate. It’s about reaching out to voters with the truth so they can decide how best to vote in their own interests. Also, it’s about getting out the vote. And it’s about democracy.
The campaign will initially target 30 seats where the Tories have less than a 2,000 vote majority. But if the campaign raises enough money, it can hit the Tories where it really hurts; in about 60 marginals.
A win-win for Labour?
Torchlight UK says:
This campaign is not affiliated to any party. But it is unashamedly anti-Tory. So no matter what party you support, if you would like to see the back of Theresa May and her nasty government run by her bunch of out-of-touch incompetent ministers, please donate to help make sure the Tories lose the next election.
But it is undoubtedly Labour which could be the big winner from Torchlight UK’s campaign. Because a browse of the list of marginal seats shows just why this campaign should worry the Tories.
Before the last election, there were only 16 seats where a non-Labour MP had a majority of less than 2,000. But now, there are 38 constituencies where the current non-Labour MPs have a majority of less than 2,000; or where the Labour Party would need a swing of less than 2% to win. And Jeremy Corbyn and his team are spending their summer specifically campaigning in the top 40 marginal seats.
The sweetest of victories
Torchlight UK’s campaign is ingenious. By taking the Tories’ own marketing ammunition and firing it back at them, it could expose the lies they tell to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people. The group already tried it during the last general election campaign, and managed to reach around 25,000 voters by spending just £40. If it can hit its initial target of £8,000 and another general election is called this year, the Tories could be in serious trouble. And there would be no sweeter victory than if May’s own campaign idea was ultimately used to defeat her.
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