Labour plotters to ape Clinton comms tactics

Labour Party activists are planning to use cutting-edge US political comms techniques imported from Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign to overhaul the party's fundraising strategy.

Hillary: Labour wants to import her campaigning skills
Hillary: Labour wants to import her campaigning skills

The independent blog ­LabourHome.org wants to use these techniques to overthrow Jack Dromey as party treasurer and usher in its preferred candidate, ­human rights barrister Mark McDonald.

McDonald called this drive ‘the first ­major campaign in the UK run using the new media of blogging and the ­internet'.

The bloggers have developed ‘influence tracker' software internally, similar to that used by Clinton's campaign, to galvanise web support and lobby liberal groups and party members.

LabourHome's team inc­ludes Jag Singh, who was John Kerry's web campaign manager in 2004 and now works on Senator Clinton's web strategy part-time.

Singh worked on Clinton's online comms in the key New Hampshire and Florida primaries, and plans to return to the campaign trail following her Super Tuesday success. Mark Hanson, a partner at northern PR agency Staniforth, joins Singh as media officer for McDonald's campaign. Former NOP pollster Alex Hilton is editor of the blog, which attracts 60,000 users every month.

‘A lot of what is mainstream in the US is very, very new over here,' said Hanson. ‘Members are increasingly on blogs and forums. Rather than knocking on doors, Mark will make himself available to these networks and set up conversations.'

Current treasurer Dro­mey has been responsible for ­investigating secret donations to the Labour Party.

The bloggers say McDonald offers ‘a change in ­approach to fundraising by the party's elite' and ‘a new standard of financial management'. McDonald stood as Lab­our's candidate in Wantage at the 2005 general election.

Nominations close in April and the election will be decided by delegates at the Labour Party conference in September.

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