Tories launch to boost online campaigning

The Conservative Party today launches a new website which it claims is 'the most ambitious party political campaigning network of its kind outside of the US'.

New site:
New site: is a new resource to help party supporters with campaigning in run-up to the general election.

Initially launching in beta, the site allows users to select specific campaigns they wish to become involved with - such as helping a particular candidate or campaigning for a single issue.

Conservative sources said the site was aimed at people who support aspects of Conservative policy but may not be paid-up party members.

Once on board, users can make donations to particular campaigns and view other donations to the same campaign. They can also become involved in phone canvassing, leafleting and door knocking.

The site also hosts a number of video guides to activites such as fundraising and door knocking - aimed at new supporters who may be nervous about undertaking such activities.

The new site has been developed by Tory new media chief Rishi Saha, working with global digital marketing and technology agency LBi. It will be managed by CCHQ staffer Sam Coates.

Tory sources said the site combined elements of various existing websites - from Facebook to JustGiving, as well as

'It's not about re-inventing campaigning,' said a source involved in the project. 'It's about providing the tools so that people can organise campaigning in a straightforward way.'

The site allows Conservative activists to:

- Set specific fundraising goals and take donations for them online

- Recruit activists to do leafleting and door-to-door canvassing

- Promote and organise social action

- Telephone canvass from home

- Set up events, create online tickets and sell them to attendees

- Connect with other supporters and get them involved in campaigns

- Set up campaigns and fundraising goals based around local and national issues

The Conservative Party anticipates that the website will evolve over the coming months as the party responds to feedback from users and adds new features.

One initiative under consideration is the offer of lunch with Tory leader David Cameron for site users who rack up the most calls to voters.

In a statement, Cameron said: 'We're hugely excited by the potential for MyConservatives as we gear up for the general election, and beyond.

'Over the last few years my party has talked a lot about how the internet is changing the nature of society. We recognise that the nature of modern communications means that we should disperse information and decision-making away from the political elite, to the man and woman on the street.

'This understanding of what we call the post-bureaucratic age has been shaped our policy-making - all we're doing now is applying those principles to the way we organise ourselves as a party. That's why today we're launching a new online campaigning portal that empowers people - whether they're party members or not - to campaign and fundraise for specific candidates and issues.

'MyConservatives is a first in UK politics, and probably the most advanced party political campaigning network of its kind outside of America. Although the General Election is still likely to be months away, the campaign to gear up our supporters and give them simple-to-use tools to make campaigning easier is already underway and MyConservatives represents a big part of that.

'At a time when the British people have lost so much faith in their political system, this is the kind of politics we need.'




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