UK voters face digital firepower onslaught in run-up to election

Over in the Financial Times, Jim Pickard has been looking at the likely impact of technology on British elections.

He writes:

Labour’s plan to reimpose the 50p tax rate was released simultaneously last weekend on Twitter, Facebook and the party website. The party has kept up the pressure since the weekend through persistent online messaging, urging followers to pass on messages.

“In the past, politicians were after your cheque book, now they are after your email address and social network,” says Mark Pack, a political consultant and author of 101 Ways to Win An Election

NationBuilder, based in Los Angeles, saw its software used by the Liberal Democrats in last year’s surprise by-election success in Eastleigh, in the 2011 Scottish National Party breakthrough in Edinburgh and now for Labour’s volunteer management system.

Jim Gilliam, the company’s founder, says the technology can filter voters to find potential activists: “An average person manages maybe 300 relationships without extra tools. With this you can manage up to 3,000 or even 6,000 people and keep up,” he says.

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