Oh Nick Clegg. It hasn’t been a good conference for you really has it. First you provide a textbook example of why you don’t put out a press notice with promises of unfunded taxcuts: Monday: Lib Dems – Clegg talks tax cuts
Then his entire conference was blown off the news agenda by the Labour Party in crisis.
So after today’s speech he had a big idea. He’s going to phone 250,000 voters during Coronation Street to ask them what they think of his policies. Only he’s not of course – it’s a recording.
Because of course, the only thing people like more then being cold called is being cold called by a computer.
Apparently it’s not electioneering (unsolicited recorded marketing calls are of course illegal). It’s supposed to be about listening to the views of the voters. But who really likes a recorded message that tells them they are listening?
I just can’t see what it is he’s trying to acheive. Who told them this would be a good idea?
Legitimate market research organisations that are bound by professional codes of conduct still annoy the hell out of people that they cold call. A political party making up market research as they go along is just stupid. If he wants to listen to voters, he should at least call them himself – or go and visit them. Don’t let a recording try and do it for you.
Not only is it an ineffective strategy (where this is done in the US 65% hang up the phone in the first few seconds) but it’s a strategy the Lib Dems themselves campaigned against. They criticised the SNP for using a recording of Sean Connery to campaign in previous elections. Changing your mind on tax policy is one thing – it seems the Lib Dems want to U-Turn on everything.
The Lib Dems are in trouble at the moment. At best they are flat-lining in the polls, at worst they are haemorrhaging votes to the Tories. He’s not cutting through to the voters and stunts like this is not going to help. He’s got to find a way to get voters to see the Lib Dems as something other then a protest vote.
UPDATE: (and a hattip to www.recessmonkey.com) The Information Commissioner is now demanding to see the call script after a complaint from the SNP (the people the Lib Dems complained about in the past). I hope they thought this was worth it.
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