How you can help reach out to voters in Tory marginals using 'targeted' or 'micro-marketing'.
The company has been 'accused' of targeting voters using hidden 'dark ads' designed to bypass mainstream media and appeal to different demographics on social media to help sway the minds of voters. This technique has been credited with Donald Trump's surprise election in the US and proved a particularly effective campaign tool for the Vote.Leave campaign in the EU referendum.
The Tories are also known to be spending millions on micro-targeting campaigns on social media, and that's on top of the propaganda being pumped out on their behalf by Tory supporting billionaire press barons like Rupert Murdoch, Lord Rothermere and Richard Desmond.
But with social media rapidly replacing mainstream press in influence, the good news is that with just a little money, and a lot of work and patient research, normal people like you and me can turn the tables on the Tories and their billionaire supporters and win.
Because the tools for micro-targeting are not just available for big business, professional marketeers and political strategists. And you don't need to be some kind of coding genius or James Bond villain to use direct marketing in political campaigns. They are available for anyone to use, with just a little knowledge of how social media works.
By simple use of demographics, originally designed to be used for commercial marketing on Facebook and other social media platforms, it is relatively easy to accurately target people geographically and demographically on social media with messages, or adverts, or memes or articles designed to appeal to very specific demographic and geographic variables.
But this is NOT about manipulating voters to change their opinions. This is about by-passing the mainstream media - which is overwhelmingly pro-Tory - and making sure information and the facts get to the electorate. It's about reaching out to voters with the truth so they can decide how best to vote in their own interests. It's about getting out the vote. It's about democracy.
During the 2017 general election campaign, Torchlight UK put this to the test. Voters in Tory marginals were micro-targeted with specific local messages designed to appeal to certain demographics such as age and income with information about how their MP had voted on matters of local concern, controversial things they had said or done in the past, or information about who or what organisations were backing them. Some of the messages shared were links to newspaper articles, some were quotes, some were memes and some were simple statements of facts.
There was no manipulation, lies or fake news. The local Tory MP's own record was simply used against them.
For example, if a local Tory MP in the marginal has in the past voted in parliament to cut funding to the NHS (all Tory MPs have), and as a result a local hospital or A&E is facing closure, the voting record is brought to the attention of voters in the constituency. Or if the local Tory MP has voted to cut funding for youth training for example (again most of them have) - we simply reach out to young voters in the constituency with reminders of the fact. For obvious reasons, it's better not to go into too many specifics about who was/will be targeted and how, but you get the idea.
The Tories' election strategist Lynton Crosby was once asked how to win an election, and he replied "you can't fatten a cow on market day". What Crosby meant was that single events rarely change voting intention. It is rather the drip drip drip of information (and in the case of the Tories, downright lies) that shifts public opinion. Theresa May and her incompetent Tory/DUP government is holed below the water line and the next election could come at any time. It could be a matter of weeks or months away. But even if the election takes place years from now, it is essential that we start campaigning as soon as possible to make sure we get the facts out - especially to voters in the Tories' most vulnerable constituencies.
That's why we are asking for your help.
There are now 30 seats where the Tories have a less than 2,000 vote majority.
Our experiment at the last election showed as many as 25,000 voters identified by age, income, interests, political beliefs or social interaction in any Tory marginal can be targeted for as little as £40.
Imagine how many Tory marginals could be targeted with £5,000? Or how many vulnerable Tory seats could be hit with with micro-targeting campaigns if £10,000 was available? And in terms of political campaigning, £10,000 is peanuts.
After seven years of Tory austerity, seven years of Tory cuts to the most vulnerable people in the country, to our services, our schools, our hospitals, our police, our emergency services, our public services - all the time while the Tories have been giving massive tax cuts to their billionaire friends - we have more than enough ammunition to bring them down, if we can only get the message out to the right people in the right places.
This campaign is not affiliated to any party. But it is unashamedly anti-Tory. So no matter what party you support, if you would like to see the back of Theresa May and her nasty government run by her bunch of out-of-touch incompetent ministers, please donate to help make sure the Tories lose the next election.
Here is a list of the top 30 Tory marginals - the absolute minimum number we would like to target:
As an example - Telford is number 14 on the list of Tory marginals which is held by Lucy Allan by less than 720 votes. A targeted campaign aimed at voters living in Telford, under the age of 25 and income less than 29,000 could remind those voters how Ms Allan bullied and sacked one of her staff and gloated about how the law no longer protects workers from part-time contracts. Constituency number 6 on the list Hastings and Rye, is now held by Tory Home Office minister Amber Rudd with a mere 346 majority, the same demographic could be targeted with information about how Ms Rudd voted to raise tuition fees and to cap police and nurses pay but voted against outlawing zero hours contracts, against a mansion tax and against a bankers' bonus tax and still refuses to reveal the identity of her own donors.
PLEASE SUPPORT THIS CAMPAIGN - EVEN A SMALL CONTRIBUTION COULD HELP TO CHANGE THE RESULT OF THE NEXT ELECTION. Simply put, the more cash raised, the more micro-marketing campaigns we can run in more Tory marginals, the more ads we can use and the more demographics we can target.