With social media playing a critical role in elections around the world, polls in the UK are no different as Conservative MPs have been asked to pose for “selfies” with voters to increase party popularity on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Conservative Party leaders like incumbent Prime Minister David Cameron and Ed Miliband are finding themselves mobbed by voters on the campaign trail asking them to be in “selfie” photographs with them.
“In the past people would ask if they can have your signature if you were in the public eye. Now no one asks for your signature, everyone asks for a picture. Now they just want selfies,” a senior party source was quoted as saying by the Telegraph.
The source, speaking after a final pre-election meeting of the party’s MPs with the election guru Lynton Crosby, agreed that this could become known as “the selfie election”.
The UK will go to polls on May 7, 2015, to elect its 56th Parliament.
Conservative MPs have been told to pose for “selfies” with voters to increase the party’s exposure on social media websites, the report said.
“It is actually more powerful because obviously they will show their friends, post on Facebook,” the source said.
“The lesson for MPs was that there were no more ‘off moments’. The MPs were told to ‘use social media as the means to deliver a message,” he said.
“With social media the best stuff to do is the constituency stuff, especially on Twitter and Facebook. With Twitter if I go to visit an elderly care home that I have somehow been involved, keeping open then that is a very powerful story,” the source added.
On every day of the campaign, which formally starts on Monday, the Tories will have a senior minister in one part of the country “with a specific message” for that area, the party source said.
The source said the race to win was so tight that victory will be fought over a small number of voters in key seats.
Conservative MPs, including cabinet members, were told they will receive daily e-mails from the Party’s headquarters, and will receive notifications on the ‘top five issues of the day’, the source said.