How you can help reach out to voters in Tory marginals before the next election
PLEASE SUPPORT THIS CAMPAIGN – EVEN A SMALL CONTRIBUTION COULD HELP TO CHANGE THE RESULT OF THE NEXT ELECTION. Simply put, the more cash raised, the more micro-marketing campaigns we can run in more Tory marginals, the more ads we can use and the more demographics we can target.
What is ‘targeted’ or ‘micro-marketing’?
At the moment there is a lot of talk – most of it with very little real substance – about targeted marketing in political campaigns. Most people will have heard about the controversies swirling around Cambridge Analytica and how the company used “hidden marketing” techniques during both the Donald Trump and the Leave.EU campaigns:
Cambridge Analytica has been ‘accused’ of targeting voters using hidden ‘dark ads‘ designed to bypass mainstream media and appeal to different demographics on social media to help sway the minds of voters. This technique has been credited with Donald Trump’s surprise election in the US and proved a particularly effective campaign tool for the Vote.Leave campaign in the EU referendum.
However, there is a lot of rubbish being talked and written about this. The truth is that this kind of hidden marketing, or targeted marketing, or micro-marketing is nothing new, and has been used by commercial marketeers for many years.
But the tools for micro-targeting are not just available for professional marketeers. They are available for anyone to use, with just a little knowledge of how social media works. You certainly don’t need to be some kind of coding genius or James Bond villain to use direct marketing in political campaigns.
However, a campaign of this kind does need a lot of patient research, work, time and some hard cash.
Contrary to popular belief, this is NOT about manipulating voters to change their opinions. This is about by-passing mainstream media – which is overwhelmingly pro-Tory – and making sure information and the facts get out to voters. It’s about reaching out to voters with the truth so they can decide how best to vote in their own interests. It’s about getting out the vote. It’s about democracy.
So micro-marketing is not just conspiracy theory and it’s not science fiction. It is already being used now. 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.
During the 2017 general election campaign, Torchlight UK put this to the test. Voters in Tory marginals were micro-targeted with specific local messages designed to appeal to certain demographics such as age and income with information about how their MP had voted on matters of local concern, controversial things they had said or done in the past, or information about who or what organisations were backing them. Some of the messages shared were links to newspaper articles, some were quotes, some were memes and some were simple statements of facts.
There was no manipulation, lies or fake news. The local Tory MP’s own record was simply used against them.
For example, if a local Tory MP in the marginal has in the past voted in parliament to cut funding to the NHS (all Tory MPs have), and as a result a local hospital or A&E is facing closure, the voting record is brought to the attention of voters in the constituency. Or if the local Tory MP has voted to cut funding for youth training for example (again most of them have) – we simply reach out to young voters in the constituency with reminders of the fact. For obvious reasons, it’s better not to go into too many specifics about who was/will be targeted and how, but you get the idea.
The Tories’ election strategist Lynton Crosby was once asked how to win an election, and he replied “you can’t fatten a cow on market day“. What Crosby meant was that single events rarely change voting intention. It is rather the drip drip drip of information (and in the case of the Tories, downright lies) that shifts public opinion. Theresa May and her incompetent Tory/DUP government is holed below the water line and the next election could come at any time. It could be a matter of weeks or months away. But even if the election takes place years from now, it is essential that we start campaigning as soon as possible to make sure we get the facts out – especially to voters in the Tories’ most vulnerable constituencies.
That’s why we are asking for your help.
There are now 30 seats where the Tories have a less than 2,000 vote majority.
Our experiment at the last election showed as many as 25,000 voters identified by age, income, interests, political beliefs or social interaction in any Tory marginal can be targeted for as little as £40.
Imagine how many Tory marginals could be targeted with £5,000? Or how many vulnerable Tory seats could be hit with with micro-targeting campaigns if £10,000 was available? In terms of political campaigning, £10,000 is peanuts.
The Tories are known to be spending millions on their micro-targeting campaigns but even with that kind of money at their disposal, they will have difficulty finding the right people to target with the right message.
But after 7 years of Tory austerity, 7 years of Tory cuts to the most vulnerable people in the country, to our services, our schools, our hospitals, our police, our emergency services, our public services while the Tories give massive tax cuts to their billionaire friends, we have more than enough ammunition to bring them down – if we can only get the message out to the right people in the right places.
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.
Here is a list of the top 30 Tory marginals – the absolute minimum number we would like to target:
As an example – Telford is number 14 on the list of Tory marginals which is held by Lucy Allan by less than 720 votes. A targeted campaign aimed at voters living in Telford, under the age of 25 and income less than 29,000 could remind those voters how Ms Allan bullied and sacked one of her staff and gloated about how the law no longer protects workers from part-time contracts. Constituency number 6 on the list Hastings and Rye, is now held by Tory Home Office minister Amber Rudd with a mere 346 majority, the same demographic could be targeted with information about how Ms Rudd voted to raise tuition fees and to cap police and nurses pay but voted against outlawing zero hours contracts, against a mansion tax and against a bankers’ bonus tax and still refuses to reveal the identity of her own donors.
The Tories have their billionaire press barons to help them win elections. We have ordinary people like you. With just a little money, and a lot of work and patient research, we can turn the tables on the Tories and win.
Please donate and help spread the word:
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