What do Colin Firth, Kate Winslett, Andrew Motion & Brian Eno have in common?

According to today’s Observer, and blogged by Paul Walter, the Lib Dems are doing surprisingly well in the celebrity supporter stakes.

For Labour, long time backer J K Rowling (who surely could match the Ashcroft money and hardly notice it had gone, if the mood took her) is joined by David Tennant. He must be a worry for Labour – Tennant’s support may lose Gordon the Dalek vote his only-slighty-too-authoritarian government seem to have spent the last 13 years attracting.

The Conservatives meanwhile have Carol Vorderman, Kirstie Allsopp* and Trevor ‘bong’ MacDonald. Older readers will remember Carol as the clever one from Countdown, whilst younger ones will remember her as the flogger of dodgy debt consolidation deals in TV adverts.

But, bizarrely, the Lib Dems are listed as currently leading in the celebrity endorsement stakes with

Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Colin Firth, Kate Winslet, Andrew Motion, Razorlight, the Kooks and Brian Eno,

To be honest, I’d take the whole thing with a pinch of salt. I can think of several celebrities (the precise number depends how near you want to get to Z-list) who support the Lib Dems and aren’t mentioned; and I’m certain there are many other Labour and Conservative supporting celebs in the wings.

Since the Observer seems to be having a Cameron-bashing day, there may be some bias.

But all the same, I’m not complaining. Those who recall general elections in the 1990s may remember that, whilst the other two parties paraded seemingly endless lines of celebrities to support Major, Kinnock and Blair, the high-point of Lib Dem celebrity-ness was John Cleese shouting at people.

I’ve nothing against John Cleese, and if you want someone to shout at people, he’s a hard man to beat, but I have to confess to being pleased that we’ve picked up a few more willing to come out of the closet, as it were.

Much as some (e.g. me) might like to look down on the idea of celebrity endorsements, not to mention the idea that someone’s views and opinions should be taken more seriously just because they’re in the public eye (e.g. numerous barmy American actors, Sting), it all helps projecting the party as mainstream and to be taken seriously.

* the name rang a bell. Channel 4’s Location, location, location according to Wikipedia. I was probably watching CSI.

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  • Paul Jenkins 16th Feb '10 - 7:04am

    I think the first thing a party leader should be asked when they take up the position is this hypothetical question.

    “Jim Davidson has decided to defect from the Tories to the Lib Dems – how do you handle THAT one in the media…?”

    Our fascination with celebrity knows no bounds it seems….

  • They’re all English and Middle Class?

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