WE week infographic

The WEek: Election in the UK

WE Communications Blog: Consumer

— Georgia Long 

Election fever is well underway.

If this is news to you, I’m going to assume you don’t live in London, the UK or you live under a rock.

Over the past few weeks, every medium we turn to for information has outlined what each party will do for the country should they get into power – alongside the usual slanging that happens at this time on the political calendar.

While I’m still undecided about who to vote for (it’s like picking the best of a bad bunch in my opinion) one thing that I have noticed, especially this week, is the increased focus on the youth vote.

This isn’t just from the parties themselves – broadcasters and social media are also jumping on board.

On Wednesday, Channel 4 announced that it will shut down E4 (aimed at 16-34 year olds and showing the likes of How I Met your Mother and The Inbetweeners) on the day of the general election.

The entire schedule of programming will be suspended from 7am-7pm on polling day with viewers being met by a lovely fellow ‘Darren’ if they tune into the channel.

The decision to shut E4 off for twelve hours is accompanied by the online campaign ‘X’ that’s intro video is mega LOLZ.

Annoyed at the way journalists are being thwarted from asking the questions that their audiences want to hear Jon Snow, Channel 4 news anchor legend (not the raven haired dream from GoT) is also getting involved.

Snow has taken on a role as YouTube Spotlight anchor. Every day at 8am he will post a vlog helping viewers, and likely first time voters, work their way through the latest issues being outlined by the parties. This will also be accompanied by a panel discussion with various YouTube bloggers.

I can’t wait to hear someone say ‘You know nothing Jon Snow’ to him.

The weirdest strategy I’ve seen this week has to be #milifandom. This hashtag started trending not from the Labour party or a broadcaster but from as 17 year old school girl just outside of Liverpool.

Irritated that the voting age is 18 and above, Abby (who hasn’t revealed her name because her parents hate Ed Miliband) started the campaign to counter unflattering representation of the Labour leader in the press.

It’s everything you’d expect from a teenage fan – but with the added sass of a politically engaged young woman. This buzzfeed just says it all.

I realise (to my horror) that I no longer fall within the targeted age band but it got me thinking – when I was counted as the ‘youth vote’ what was the Government doing to engage me?

Honestly? I can’t remember, but if E4 had been cancelled and The O.C., Smallville or my beloved F.R.I.E.N.D.S had been made unavailable for half a day, I might just have taken note.