The UK Internet election? Not really

The PBS Media Shift blog has some interesting points about the UK web election that wasn’t….well once you get past the 1st paragraph anyway (“The British still consume high tea and scones….” enough said).

PBS links to BBC’s tech correspondent Rory Cellan Jones who says, “this was not an Internet election, and all those who suggested it might be had got it completely wrong.   It was a television election, and all of those tweeters and bloggers were sad political obsessives talking to each other.” Guilty as charged, those of us pontificating on Twitter about the election were largely preaching to the already converted.

Actually the following chart (produced before the election ended) by Echo Research should be a wake up call for all of us who make a living out of predicting the death of old media.   Sure, 48% of UK voters were influenced by the Internet…while 60% were influenced by newspapers and 85% by TV.


At the same time, the websites of all mainstream media outlets – TV and newspapers, saw a rise.   This points towards something that I for one believe is true – the delivery mechanism of the news might be different, but ultimately people still want it from trusted brands.

Spoof campaigns such as the Facebook group ‘vandalised Conservative Billboards‘ were more popular than the official party efforts, but you wonder to what extent they didn’t just amplify what was coming out of the echo chamber.

Social media effort from the UK election – vandalised Conservative posters on Facebook

As Jaron Gilinsky who wrote the PBS piece says, “now is the time for the various players to absorb the lessons from this election, and get back on the bike.   Perhaps in five years time, the training wheels will finally come off.”

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