We guested on Newsnight Scotland last night with our story about all the seats where the campaign is already over. And they picked a pretty arresting comparison for their intro. And we’re wishing we’d thought of it first…
Why is much of Scotland like Mississippi at election time? they asked. Because their voters are invisible too.
So we had a little look across the pond.
Our US opposite numbers at Fairvote helped put this data together in 2004. It shows how naked the targetting of swing states is the US elections. All the money and all the leaders follow the few voters that can win you the White House.The green dollars show Ad spend in millions, those lovely waving hands rallies by the candidates. And suprise suprise most states do not see an election, Mississipi included. Whole regions – the Deep South and Mid West – are taken for granted by aspiring presidents
Britain’s rather more compact political geography makes the same task a bit of a challenge. But thankfully party leaders have got off to a flying start doing the job for us, tweeting , blogging and emailing as they go.
Brown headed straight to Kent’s key swing seats after his chat with the Queen. Cameron targetted Leeds and Birmingham’s floating voters in a single day. And Clegg headed for that key 3-way marginal of Watford.
Thankfully technology is making the task easier. We’ve asked our supporters to join our ElectionWatch programme. And today we’ve launhed the Follow the Leader tool, allowing our supporters to flag up their movements during the short campaign.
Watch the news, and you can build this picture one rally at a time. Well worth signing up to all their email bulletins too, because you’re likely to recieve a daily update from the latest marginal seat.