Social media drive for independent politicians to target disenchanted voters

Independent politicians are hoping that a new social media campaign will help them tap into voter disenchantment with the three main political parties.

Campaign trail: Esther Rantzen running as independent
Campaign trail: Esther Rantzen running as independent

PR firm Parker, Wayne and Kent is handling the campaign on behalf of the Independent Network, which bills itself as a ‘loose association' of independent political candidates.

High-profile names, such as Terry Waite and Esther Rantzen, have announced their plans to run as independents in the next general election, expected to take place around April 2010. Other independents include MPs Martin Bell and Dai Davies.

‘One of our challenges is to convince floating voters to recognise themselves as independent,' said Parker, Wayne and Kent director Brian Ahearne. ‘They are a credible alternative to party politics at a time when political party membership and trust is falling dramatically.'

The agency will use Twitter and Facebook, while also operating a regular blog and developing the Independent Network website. A strategy meeting of independent candidates will also take place this week in London.

‘Social media are useful bec­ause they are a very cheap and eff­ective way to garner support,' said Ahearne. 

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