Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lib Dems borrow to fund glossy mailshots

A year ago it was automated telephone calling. Today it is direct mailing of glossy leaflets. Cowley Street insiders do enjoy telling the press how ingenious they are.

An article in tomorrow's Guardian says:

The Liberal Democrats are to borrow money to help mount their first direct mailshot as part of an attempt to widen the number of seats they target at the next election to more than 200 – according to aides, their largest number of targeted seats ever ...

The party is taking a gamble, both financially and electorally, to exploit what it sees as Labour's endemic weaknesses after 12 years in power. The plan borrows from the controversial strategy adopted by the Conservative deputy chairman, Lord Ashcroft, which has allowed the Tories to send glossy political literature. The Lib Dems' mailshots will be scrutinised for references to the local candidate – which would see the party have to register the cost as election expenditure.

Also of interest is the forecast of "one senior member of the shadow team":
"We'll lose six to eight seats in the south and gain 10 to 12 in the north and climb up to 70 all in."
Featured on Liberal Democrat Voice


Anonymous said...

This really does seem like a very rash move.

The value of one single glossy leaflet?

Hywel said...

I suspect this is several very standard things being combined to make a story.

1) Borrow money. AIUI it is fairly common for us to use our overdraft facility during a General Election. Given that our highest expenditure comes in GE years borrowing against future income to pay for that is a pretty sound business model.

2) Central direct mail. IIRC this was done at the last election and takes advantage of a loophole in the expense limit rules if it is "national campaigning"

3) The value. As an addition to an intensive target seat campaign it will certainly add to the overall effectiveness of that campaign if correctly targetted.

Much rather see money spent on this than last years auto-phoning on which my views are well known.

crewegwyn said...

Are you sure this wasn't on News Biscuit?

"Political party launches new idea. Send leaflets to people outlining policies, and asking for their support"

Coming soon -

"Politicians to knock on people's doors to ask for their support!"