What do we think of their new Â£500k campaign?
In almost all the national papers this morning there are large ads from the Conservatives which are aimed, it seems. at building up a supporter base rather than winning votes.
There’s a different theme in every newspaper but the objective appears to be the same – “Join us at Conservatives.com”. The message in the Times is about economic competence, green issues get singled out for special attention in the Independent while the emphasis is on jobs in the Express.
It looks as though the Tories have watched how Barack Obama’s campaign has evolved in the US and concluded that it is vital for a political party to have a large supporter base all of whom are contactable online. Certainly the front-runner for the Dems has done some remarkable things with the internet and this is giving him a real edge both for fundraising and mobilising an activist base.
In the UK we don’t yet have the strict fundraising controls that exist in the US – there is no maximum donation level here unlike across the pond where the most you can give to a campaign is $2300.
My guess is that this Tory campaign is about much more than money. Like all the other parties there has been a big decline in membership and to run effective elections you need to be able to resource big ground operations in key target seats.
Will it work? It will be interesting to watch.
US election online delegate calculator: this from Forbes is fun to play with.
I had two further enquiries but the posters did not follow up with emails, as requested, so I have not been able to include them. Since we want to avoid the group becoming too large and therefore unwieldy, we have decided to close membership for the time being. We may reopen it later or perhaps even start a second syndicate, if successful.