UK Tory GOTV E-day effort online

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:

and later in the day, a second GOTV email from London mayor (and Conservative) Boris Johnson:

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.

Stop the presses! PM snubbed by Barack Obama!

Yesterday, I reported on a desperate Liberal attempt to downplay, and the Canadian media’s attempt to diminish Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to the White House. Because Mr. Harper was greeted by someone other than Barack Obama, this was seen to be a snub.

Today, on the LA Times blog, there’s an interesting account of the meeting between Harper and Obama,

[The] U.S. chief executive granted Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper a coveted media availability in the Oval Office, a privilege not granted to someone as lowly as Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown not so long ago.

That doesn’t sound like the Prime Minister was snubbed.

Let’s look at other world leaders “snubbed” by the White House!


President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of the Philippines snubbed!


Diplomacy bajanxed! Irish PM Brian Cowen was right feckin snubbed!


Iraqi PM Nouri al Maliki snubbed! Shukran for nothing Obama!


Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai snubbed from White House shura!


Oy vey! Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu snubbed!

and as I mentioned yesterday…


Obama is such a prat! British Prime Minister Gordon Brown witnesses the piss poor diplomacy at the White House as he was snubbed!

Of course, these world leaders including Stephen Harper weren’t snubbed at the White House.

The Canadian embassy in Washington DC, when contacted for comment explained:

“The White House Chief of Protocol just called the Ambassador (proactively) to say, essentially, ‘this is nonsense’. It’s not the White House practice, under this Administration, for the President to go outside to greet his guests. That’s done by the Protocol Office.”