The internet and the 2010 election
“Described variously as a non event, the dog that didn’t bark and a flop, the UK’s first net election shocked all but the wise and sober in failing to refashion the landscape of British electoral politics
That was Stephen Coleman talking about the 2001 General Election in the Hansard Society’s ‘Cyberspace Odyssey: Elections in the age of the Internet’. Nine years on, has much changed? Twitter, Facebook, blogs: 2010 was supposed to be Britain’s first ‘internet election’, but, in the end, it was the televised leaders’ debates that really captured the public imagination. There was no pivotal moment at which we entered the age of internet politics but the 2010 election shows how the internet has become a ‘business as usual’ space for people and, with this, for politics and campaigning.
With contributions from some key election observers and practitioners, this short volume sets out to cut through some of the hype that surrounded the election and provide some empirical evidence of the internet’s place in the election and also assess what realistically we might expect from the internet. Edited by Rachel Gibson, Andy Williamson and Stephen Ward and with contributions from Mark Pack, Matthew McGregor and Will Straw, this volume lifts the lid on what really happened online and stands as a reference on the 2010 election and an informative guide to anyone interested in political campaigning online.