Who won the digital war? #YestoAV #NotoAV

Labour grandee Lord Mandelson, a keen supporter of electoral reform, told the BBC: “It is going to be a very decisive No vote against changing the electoral system to AV.

“I think that’s very disappointing, but I’m equally entirely unsurprised by it. Nobody could have foreseen the extent to which the whole vote over the last 24 hours has become a referendum on the Liberal Democrats in general and Nick Clegg in particular.

“We paid a big price for combining the AV referendum with the first elections to be held following the general election last year.”

Lord Mandelson was critical of the handling of the Yes campaign: “The ground work was not done for this referendum. I think that the public felt the thing had come out of the blue as the result of some arrangement between the coalition partners and they didn’t see why AV was such a big deal.

“I don’t think they felt AV was the solution to many of the problems they feel are in our political system.”

The Independent.

When the history of the AV referendum campaign comes to be written, much ink will be spilled about the different messages and strategies of the Yes and No teams.

But for those interested in the digital war, it’s been a fascinating, real-time example of just how to use – and not use – the internet.

I’ve talked to both campaign teams and it’s worth giving a small snapshot of what’s been happening online. In a nutshell, Yes for Fairer Votes seemed more of a field-based collective, No2AV were more of a traditional political party.

As the #NotoAV campaign looks set to win

Whatever the result and despite the vitriol, both sides have a lot of respect for the different ways they engaged with the voters and their supporters. All three main political parties will be itching to get a full debrief at some point from both Yes and No.

Ultimately, as in any election, the campaigns may have been secondary to the core political messages on offer. You can have all the fancy social engagement and advert blitzes in the world, but it won’t mean a thing if the punters don’t like your policies.

Yet in a way, despite the expected low turnout, both Yes and No camps generated significant followings. Whatever view you take of the merits of AV, it would be a real shame if all this activism just came to a sudden halt.

The Waugh Room, Politics Home

See also, The Guardian: 10 reasons why the AV vote was lost.


The Election Meme of the Day/Year?

Provided by Andrew Bloch. First saw this this morning, and now keep seeing it everywhere, and yes, I have voted!

Academic Digital

Election 2010, 1am-2am

Just realised that I’m also on the 1am-2am highlights of this amazing live marathon by University of Winchester Journalism students – who usually create a 10 minute programme once a week, and ran for around 12-14 hours. Their TV channel could only take 100 viewers and was oversubscribed throughout the night. This was the 12-midnight to 1am highlights (no camera on my face as I wince at being called Becky!) – very awesome performance by our TV Presenter who remained calm on camera despite all kinds of things going wrong – she’ll go far!



“The verdict was already in, even before polling day. This was not an internet election, and all those who had suggested it might be had got it completely wrong.

It was a television election, and all of those tweeters and bloggers were sad political obsessives talking to each other.

Hold on a minute – can I insert a couple of points about what has already become received wisdom? First, even the most rabid of digital enthusiasts never suggested that new-media techniques would be the decisive factor.

Just about every debate I attended on this issue before the campaign ended with everyone agreeing that television, and the debates in particular, would be decisive.

But the internet, from social media to Google to good old-fashioned news websites, did play a significant part in the way many people experienced this election – and that was very different from what happened in 2005.”

Read the full story from Rory Cellan-Jones, it’s a great article about how social media may have changed the engagement with politics, and removed some of the apathy, even if it couldn’t predict the outcome. Now we’ll see that campaigns continue online for a change to Proportional Representation:

Digital Event

Just how powerful is your vote?

With the government, and others, indicating that your vote has power, and that you MUST vote, another app indicates just how powerful (or otherwise) your vote actually is:

Even without all the debates about the fight for suffrage, voting in an election is a constitutional right, and if you don’t vote, you can’t complain about the policies that are enacted by politicians in your name.

Winchester, 1997

Those of us who were in Winchester in 1997 remember that we were one of the last counts to come in, as the vote had to be scrutinised and recounted as it came down to 2 votes (to the Liberal Democrats). The Conservatives contested, and a re-election for the constituency had to be held… if a few more people had voted, the decision could have been more decisive.

Read the BBC’s summary of Winchester as a constituency, and it’s typical voting profile.