Election campaigning uses different styles of communication and content. This is a great way to define different parties and their messages, but also to attract a specific target voter.
In previous elections, parties have targeted “Worcester Woman” “Mondeo Man”, “Middle England” or “Motorway Man” (among other voter ‘types’). Of course these are very patronising terms, and marketeers can fall into the trap of not always understanding the concerns of particular voting groups (Brexit being a prime example where people are still misunderstanding why specific areas voted ‘No’).
However the Liberal Democrats have decided to target the younger voter and more specifically, those voters who are angry at the Brexit decision last year. In fact I would be slightly controversial by suggesting that the Lib Dem’s position is one of not respecting the democratic process in this country.
The launch of the Lib Dems manifesto was at a ‘cool’ nightclub in the East End of London and had predominantly young people who are against Brexit in the audience. This is their target voter; young people who are upset that we are leaving Europe – and of course this is perfectly reasonable. All of the messaging was directed at them.
You can see in the video below, that plenty of voters are fed up with the Lib Dems not supporting the Brexit negotiations – however it is unlikely this heckler would have voted for them anyway.
Whether Farron and the Lib Dems are consciously doing this, there is an element of comedy and ignoring reality with their messaging. Whilst some of the points made were good: increasing funding for the NHS, one promise that the vote could be taken again for Brexit was, well, a joke.
So let’s score Tim Farron for his #electionsuperstar credentials.
Performance: He comes across totally convinced of his policies. Although he dodges some questions to HIS audience it works well. 4/5
Audience: He resonates perfectly with his audience in the room. He engages them and speaks what they think and fear. However, not all of the audience (on the media) agree with him and they largely consider him a joke. 2/5
Preparation: His message has been very clearly prepared and he maintains his core values and those of the party. However, he is unable to debate bigger issues. 3/5
Voice: His voice does not have the command of some public speakers and politicians. However, he uses variety of tone reasonably well. 3/5
Content: this depends on whether you agree or disagree. To his core voters his content is brilliant; to those who aren’t supporters, it is a very bad comedy routine. 2/5