GE2015 Campaign strategies- Katie Wilson

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General Election Coverage brought to you by LSU Media News

How are the parties individually grabbing our attention? What strategies are they using to attract us as voters? Katie Wilson comments on the things that are jumping out the most.

Campaign posters:
Conservative poster.

Conservative poster

My favourite by far this election has to be one of the Conservative’s posters. It depicts Ed Miliband in Alex Salmond’s pocket, clearly hinting at the idea of Labour only being able to run the country if they were backed up by SNP. The only way this is more amusing is when it is Nicola Sturgeon on the poster as opposed to Alex Salmond, ex leader of the SNP. Ed Miliband’s face looks somewhat worried about the outcome, and he is shown as a tiny version of himself in comparison to Alex Salmond, again emphasising that Labour will be highly likely to rely upon the SNP. This is only backed up further by Alex Salmond “jokingly” saying that he would write Labour’s budget in a coalition between the SNP and Labour.

However, I have a slight criticism of the wrecking ball poster that the Conservative’s have released, which I feel would’ve been massively improved by sitting an opposing leader on it: Miley Cyrus style. Now THAT would have been eye- catching.

Green poster

Green poster

The Green Party have also issued a poster that is somewhat satirical and rather eye catching. Leader, Natalie Bennett stands alongside Caroline Lucas, a Green Party MP Candidate, clearly promoting girl power by addressing the “boys” of the other parties. The slogan is rather enticing and somewhat amusing, and definitely does the trick. I wonder if there’ll be any responses from other party leaders…would be nice to find out what they’re “afraid of”…

Lib Dems poster

Lib Dems poster

The Liberal Democrats’ poster is aesthetically pleasing but has been subject to some criticism and a range of jokes about the path being like the yellow brick road from The Wizard of Oz. However, the poster does reflect the Lib Dems middling campaign, showing that they are neither a left or right leaning party. The text suggests heading straight on and hence voting Lib Dems. It also takes the exact layout of another Conservative poster, also depicting the road, just without the roadsigns.

Unlike the other party posters that I’ve looked into, this one lacks the presence of a leaders’ face. Be it Nick Clegg or a satirical slogan accompanying another leaders’ face, The Liberal Democrats would have probably been better considering more posters like this, as they are probably the most amusing, most memorable and most eye- catching of the campaign posters. However, I do understand that not every poster out there is set to depict the leaders and indeed can work to look into satirising the political issues in other ways, or showing the seriousness of them.

Labour poster

Labour poster

This leads me directly to a Labour poster, depicting a rather shiny- faced David Cameron. The NHS is a hot topic, as you’ll inevitably be aware of, and so Labour have taken this and turned their campaign into a very Conservative- style poster. Nowhere is there a hint of red or a Labour logo, but the text speaks for itself. However, I am less convinced of it’s effectivity, as a lot of people who see billboards won’t have the chance to read them when they’re driving. Labour have hinted at the original Conservative posters, including “We can’t go on like this” as part of the text. Reusing one another’s slogans and simply satirising each other seems very popular.

UKIP poster

UKIP poster

UKIP have kept it simple with a tick list style poster and an image of Nigel Farage’s face. The five “pledges” are all outlined on the very obviously UKIP-esque poster, its purple and yellowness on full show, alongside the UKIP logo. This is marginally effective, as voters can easily view the main ideas of the party. However, I personally don’t find it quite as intriguing as Nigel Farage’s socks that he was sporting on TV the other day…covered in the £ sign to signify the UKIP logo…quirky or what?

SNP poster

SNP poster

In terms of the SNP, Sturgeon does appear on the poster, and the text very clearly states exactly what the SNP’s aims are in this election. There is no more information than you need as a voter in Scotland and this simplicity is absolutely key in grabbing the attention of the people and being precise in what their aims are.

Overall campaigning:

This week saw David Cameron and Boris Johnson visiting a nursery and trying to complete a jigsaw, which I’m not so convinced was completed…This was not a photo opportunity at all. Of course. I felt this kind of campaigning was a little bizarre, yes- perhaps you gain some attention from the parents of the nursery children, but unless you lower the voting age to 3 you aren’t likely to gain many votes from the people you’re in contact with there. This was however aiming to show that the Conservative’s have the best policy in terms of childcare. However, we have seen all parties moving around the country and visiting all sorts of random places in order to promote themselves and request votes from the public. No doubt you’ll have seen various leaders visiting various housing development plots, each quoting their own figures to back up their own agendas and policies. You’ll have most probably heard about Ed Miliband’s recent fandom as well as his interesting social media attention from young girls…but eh, at least they’re engaged in politics.

("Policies or the People" page unavailable on 22/04/15)

(“Policies or the People” page unavailable on 22/04/15)

Although it is less clear as to whereabouts Nicola Sturgeon is visiting and promoting, it is clear that she is a prominent figure in the media. Following two very successful debate performances (view overviews of BBC hereITV here) and very clear aims, Nicola Sturgeon is taking the limelight completely away from the likes of the Liberal Democrats who seem to have dropped off the radar, even on the news. Farage is around, and probably having a friendly pint at each pitstop, but that’s his character, and a persona that has built up over the last couple of years, becoming something that he is synonymous with. Although he may have been a drinker before, this kind of friendliness reflects upon the supposed “for the people” idea of the UKIP party. However, if you have a gander on their website, the page isn’t found when you have a look further into their policies. So for now I guess any supporters will simply go on what they see in the media or their five ‘pledges’.

In this final two weeks of campaigning, it is likely that we will see things heat up further in order for certain parties, namely the Conservatives and Labour, pushing to get ahead on the voting polls, and ultimately aiming to receive a majority vote on May 7th- although this is currently looking unlikely.

Be sure to check LSU Media News for updates on the General Election as well as comment pieces and general information to assist in making the right choice for you.

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About Author

This is Katie's third year involved with LSU Media. Last year she was Label Features Editor and LSU Media Head of News (Content Coordinator). As Label Editor, Katie sits on Senate and also plans on increasing Label's readership, quality and connections with the other sections of LSU Media. Katie was awarded three LSU Media awards at the end of last year for her work with Label, Features and News.

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