June 24, 2024

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The Lib Dem strategy to restore their third party status

2 min read

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Good morning. The Liberal Democrats launched their manifesto yesterday and then went on the rides at Thorpe Park. Some thoughts on why they did that and what their campaign is doing below.

Inside Politics is edited by Harvey Nriapia today. Read the previous edition of the newsletter here. Please send gossip, thoughts and feedback to insidepolitics@ft.com

It was all yellow

The Liberal Democrats have a simple task — tell voters in some very specific parts of the country that they exist, persuade those voters that the Lib Dems should win, that the Conservatives can be beaten, and equally importantly that Labour cannot beat them.

At the ground level they do this via leafleting and activist presence. But their national campaign has a role to play, too, and they have got a groove going that works well.

Ed Davey turns up somewhere that his party is targeting, does a kooky photo opportunity at some local tourist attraction or amenity (the better to force him and his party on to as many newspaper front pages, particularly local newspaper front pages, as possible).

He does interviews, preferably for BBC local radio or LBC. The Lib Dems prize doing local BBC stations because it is a big part of their strategy for making it clear they are the anti-Tory vote in a particular area, and they prize LBC because that maximises their chances of getting a clip on one of the many music stations that Global, LBC’s parent company, also runs: Smooth, Heart, Classic FM, Capital.

After his manifesto launch he managed to combine both, being interviewed by LBC about the Lib Dem policy of taking the UK back into the single market while on the spinning teacups at Thorpe Park.

Their big messages in those interviews are all firmly targeted at socially concerned,…

2024-06-11 04:30:02

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