We’re still watching the votes come in on this side of the pond and it’s turning into a late night/early morning for our cousins in the UK as votes are counted and a hung (minority) Parliament looks like the outcome of the election in that country.
I spoke to the web gurus over at the British Conservative Party on election day to find out what they did to drive get out the vote (GOTV) efforts online. They revealed a peak into their strategy for mobilizing Britons to the polls.
First, an unprecedented buy of the British Youtube homepage’s ad unit. Cameron’s web team has admitted to me that they received millions of impressions of their video advert on e-day. Advertising on broadcast media is prohibited in the UK on election day and thus the Youtube ad placement is shrewd and effective. Part of the motivation to buy Youtube for May 7th was to keep the same rare legal platform for advertising out of the hands of their political opponents.
The UK Tories also mobilized a simple Facebook application which allowed the user to donate their status update message to a GOTV message for the Tories on election day. We saw a similar tactic used during the previous US presidential election for both McCain and Obama.
An email was sent out from David Cameron to the UK Tory supporter list for election day:
Today, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to turn our country around.
This one day will decide Britain’s future at a crucial time for our economy, our society, and our politics.
We all know that it’s time for change, after thirteen years of this Labour government. But there’s only one way to bring change – and that is to vote Conservative.
Any other vote could mean we are left with another five years of Gordon Brown – and the uncertainty of a hung Parliament could kill the recovery.
Earlier this morning Sam and I voted in our constituency. Watch this video to see why I believe it is vital that you vote too.
Stephen – there is so much at stake today.
Only by voting Conservative today will Britain have a fresh government tomorrow that can roll up its sleeves and start to clean up the mess.
So please take the time to vote – and please do pass this message on to your friends too.
Together, we can bring the change our country needs.
and later in the day, a second GOTV email from London mayor (and Conservative) Boris Johnson:
This is it. As I write these words Gordon Brown should be teetering on the edge of the political oblivion he so richly deserves.
One shove, one nudge, one tiny prod in the right place – and we will at last be rid of this bankrupt embarrassment of a Labour government. Just one last push and this great country will be spared another five years of Gordon Brown.
We will avoid the drift and dither of a hung parliament. We will give a Conservative government the chance to offer dynamic and energetic government and by tomorrow morning we will begin the work of undoing the damage done by Labour.
Who is there left to administer this final judicious kick to the Labour Party’s ample posterior?
It could be you, Stephen.
If you have yet to vote – and you have five minutes to spare – I urge you and all your family and friends to get down to the polling station and play your part in history.
In an election this tight, your vote could be decisive. The boot’s on your foot. For the good of our country – I urge you to use it.
Finally, but most importantly, the integral element of the Tory e-day e-GOTV strategy has been Google advertising. The Tories have purchased keywords relating to their leader and to their political opponents and have targeted the ads geographically in key ridings.
And now, we continue to watch the votes come in. The magic number to beat a Labour/LibDem coalition is 310 seats, whereas a majority would be won with 326.