SNP launches online Scottish election push

The Scottish National Party (SNP) plans to woo disenchanted voters by targeting them through new media channels, including a campaigning page on Google-owned video-sharing website YouTube.

The SNP starts the campaign at the end of next month as it seeks to get MP Alex Salmond elected First Minister in the Holyrood Elections in May 2007.

It claims the digital campaign is a strategic attempt to reach younger or disaffected voters unlike previous attempts by politicians, such as Conservative leader David Cameron, to embrace youth.

The electoral campaign has the slogan “It’s time – to vote Labour out and return to Scottish roots”. Its focus will be an online strategy, as the SNP seeks to engage younger voters and students.

The party will stream a series of monthly webcasts featuring party leader Salmond. Each will feature a different part of Scotland and concentrate on a specific aspect of the campaign.

The digital push aims to bring the community together online to debate and discuss local issues. The campaign has been devised in-house with input from ad agency Golley Slater.

An SNP spokesman says the strategy aims to get people to “coalesce around a community and issues such as Iraq and Trident, getting them to sign up to campaigns they feel strongly about and encouraging friends and peers to join.”

He adds that the SNP has been developing its digital strategy “for some time”, and is the result of looking at how political parties in the US and Australia have successfully engaged hard-to-reach audiences via the Net.

The campaign will be backed by press and print campaigns at a local level.

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