Conservative Party launches Obama-inspired campaigning website

LONDON - The Conservative Party is launching an online campaign network to help drum up support from non-members in the run-up to next year's general election.

The strategy has been inspired by the digital marketing techniques used by US president Barack Obama during his successful election campaign last year. launches today in a beta version and was created in partnership with its digital agency LBi. It is designed to appeal to young people who may be voting for the first time, as well as digitally-savvy people in their 20s and 30s who do not want to become fully signed-up members of the party, but are sympathetic to its aims.

Users can enter their postcode into the site to find their local candidate. The site has several functions that enable users to choose to help and communicate with their local candidate and other supporters, or donate money to local causes.

In a break from the norm, those who have entered their details onto the site will also be allowed to take part in telephone canvassing, receiving names and a script through the site and entering the results online. Usually political parties only allow their signed-up members to do this.

Over the coming months, incentives such as lunch with Conservative leader David Cameron at the House of Commons will be offered to supporters who rack up the most calls.

Cameron said: ‘Over the last few years my party has talked a lot about how the internet is changing the nature of society. We recognise that the nature of modern communications means that we should disperse information and decision-making away from the political elite, to the man and woman on the street.

‘This understanding of what we call the post-bureaucratic age has been shaped our policy-making - all we're doing now is applying those principles to the way we organise ourselves as a party. That's why today we're launching a new online campaigning portal that empowers people - whether they're party members or not - to campaign and fundraise for specific candidates and issues,' he added. follows digital innovations such as Webcameron, an online video diary launched three years ago, which showed the Tory leader doing the washing-up in his kitchen at home during its first instalment.



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