BBC News political editor Laura Kuenssberg unravelled a key election campaign strategy the Conservatives are adopting to outgun Labour on social media.
Speaking on Brexitcast, Laura Kuenssberg claimed the Tories are adopting a tactic of “s**t posting” on social media that sees the campaign group sharing very badly edited advertising videos or photos for the party with the aim of shocking Britons who in return will share the ad thousands of times. The BBC editor explained: “There’s no question that this time the press is much more vigilant and paying a lot more attention to what’s happening online and the accuracy of it. Because in previous campaigns this stuff has mushroomed and mushroomed, and also the parties are watching much more carefully what the others are doing online.
“In particular, the Tories know they were outgunned online last time and they want to make sure they are really challenging Labour online too.
“But the dilemma is that it’s exactly like the claim of £350 million a week for the NHS in the Brexit referendum. Vote Leave knew that they were using that statistic in a misleading way but of course every time the Remain campaign talked about it, every time the Remain campaign wrote off a letter to the statistics authority, it meant it was getting talked about.
“And they know that. And there’s another thing called ’s**t posting’. Political parties and their campaign groups will make an advert that looks really rubbish and then people share it online saying ‘oh I can’t believe how s**t this is’ and then it gets shared and shared and shared.
“And they go ‘ha ha, job done!’”
Ms Kuenssberg’s comments come after the Conservative Party campaign has already faced considerable hurdles as a number of high profile gaffes invited condemnation from opposition leaders and public alike, reducing confidence that a lead can be sustained.
Jacob Rees-Mogg was forced to apologise for suggesting the Grenfell Tower victims lacked “common sense”, while Welsh secretary Alun Cairns resigned over allegations he knew a former aide had “sabotaged” a rape trial.
The Tories were also accused of releasing a “doctored” video, sitting on a report about Russian interference and failing to fulfil a former 2014 election promise to build 200,000 new houses.
The edited video made Sir Keir appear to struggle to answer to a key question on his party’s Brexit policy when he in fact immediately responded in the original footage.
Discussing the clip, Conservative Party Chairman James Cleverly justified the video needed to be made shorter and claimed the party had also posted the full unedited version of the interview.
But in a later interview with Nick Ferrari, Mr Cleverly claimed the video was meant to be satirical.
Despite this rocky start the Tories continue to poll well ahead of their rivals.
An interesting new development in the latest YouGov polling shows that, while the Conservatives are on course to sweep-up votes, most of those who would vote for the party favour a pact with the Brexit Party.
Boris Johnson’s party has firmly ruled out the prospect of an electoral pact with Nigel Farage, but it appears their voters do.
When asked: “Would you support or oppose the Conservative Party making an electoral pact with the Brexit Party, so that did not stand candidates against each other in their target seats?”
A vast majority of 70 percent of Conservative voters supported the move, while just eight percent opposed.
And of Brexit Party voters, 81 percent approved of a pact, with just six percent opposed.