Mixed fortunes for lobbyists at the polls as hung parliament looms

The PR industry's political candidates have endured mixed fortunes at the polls, with the Conservatives coming out on top.

Hung parliament: mixed fortunes for PR candidates
Hung parliament: mixed fortunes for PR candidates

The Conservative PROs have been celebrating success after Shire Hall founder Margot James won Stourbridge from Labour, Finsbury partner Robin Walker won Worcester and George Eustice, the former Conservative party head of press and Portland PR associate director won Camborne and Redruth, albeit with a narrow majority of 66. Priti Patel, formerly Weber Shandwick, was also elected as the first female Asian Conservative MP.

But there have been defeats for the Labour lobbyists as ABTA's head of public affairs Luke Pollard coming third in Devon SW, former TLG consultant Nick Bent in Warrington South and for PRWeek columnist Alex Hilton, who tweeted: ‘Didn't quite take Chelsea from the conservatives. Good second but over the moon for Hammersmith'.

Meanwhile Wolfstar deputy MD Mark Hanson, who has been working on Labour's digital campaign, said the mood inside the Labour camp fluctuated as the long night went on.

‘The mood was good last night but went up and down upon hearing the various seats being declared. There are seats where you know the candidate and have worked closely with them,' he said.

He added that the focus of Labour's digital campaign had been ‘to motivate supporters to generate real-world actions as opposed to voters'. It provided supporters with tools such as the iCampaign app to make it more convenient to campaign, an online manifesto that was easier to share and Membersnet, which enabled supporters to find each other and organise their own campaigns.

He believed this created greater interaction with the voters. ‘We had over 110,000 reading the online manifesto compared to our 8,000 sales in 2005. During the debates we got 23,000 visits in 90 minutes to our specially created Twitter/Facebook dashboard on our homepage.'


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