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Election Media Watch: The Lib Dem Strategy for the General Election

I don’t think it will come as any surprise at all to any of us that our key plan in this election is to gain seats in the “Blue Wall” where we have come second to the Tories. Not all of those seats are in the South East of England. Harrogate, Cheadle, Hazel Grove, are all up north. And then there are all the seats in the south west which came into play when we won Somerton and Frome.

Of course, as Alex Cole-Hamilton will tell you, we “have our grappling hooks” into the acid yellow wall of the SNP. We are hoping to retain our current 4 seats north of the Border and gain Susan Murray in East Dunbartonshire and Angus MacDonald in the new version of Charles Kennedy’s old seat.  If you think the latter is unlikely, you are likely not aware of the power of work that Angus has been doing. I was very pleasantly surprised last Summer to see enormous billboards with his name on them entering Inverness on the A9 from the South and on the A82 from the West.

And in Wales, it would be fantastic to regain the new Brecon, Radnor and Cym Tawe seat being fought for us by David Chadwick.

And if you are in any of those seats, you will be in no doubt that we are the challengers to the incumbent Conservatives or Nationalists. You will have been able to wallpaper your house 3 times over with the literature we have delivered over the past 4 years.

Anyway, it’s good to see some positive coverage of this in the newspapers this weekend.

The Guardian has highlighted the 2 million leaflets dropping through Blue Wall letterboxes this weekend. (Spoiler: I know how many more are coming soon and this is only the start).

Lib Dem strategists said the party had to deploy a leafleting and digital advertising blitz early on to convince voters, especially those intending to vote Labour in these seats, that Lib Dems were better placed to remove the Tory incumbent.

While they believe tactical voting has the potential to work, they want to reach voters while they are focused on the announcement of the election.

The Lib Dems are now seeking to begin a “Labour squeeze” in a collection of target seats in Tory southern heartlands, where they have been building momentum. It means the swift return of Lib Dem bar charts claiming they are the only party with a realistic chance of removing the incumbent Tory MP.

Activists have already been warned they have a “critical” job to reach voters in the opening weeks of the campaign. A series of 200 digital ads across dozens of seats where the Lib Dems are the main threat to the Tories are being sent to Labour voters.

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