With the election looming, a recent study by Netpoll has confirmed fears that Voters are not looking to official websites for election information and the huge investment into official party websites hasn’t paid off this year.
The study, commissioned by the Industrial Society as part of the iSociety initiative to assess the impact of ICT on society, found the Internet to be a wasted medium on swing voters in the upcoming election with the notion of going to a political party website meeting an apathetic and disinterested audience this time round.
This apathy has reinforced the fact that voters are already being bombarded with election information by traditional media and the parties themselves, to the point of information overload. However, while voters haven't considered using the Internet this time round, the research found that once they go online, voters are receptive to this form of communication and held the opinion that parties should embrace new media and technology.
In terms of navigation, look and feel and content of the 3 official party websites, respondents in the research study gave the Liberal Democrats the high ground over the Conservatives and Labour.
The site was found to be easy and logical to use, containing concise and focused content and projecting an image of affinity, identification and trust.
In particular, The Liberal Democrats were praised by respondents for their ability to create a website that concentrated on their own policies instead of entering into a ‘slagging’ match with the other parties.
Notes for Editors
· The Industrial Society are the UK’s leading thinkers and advisers on the world of work. Everything we do – from consultancy to research, from training to advocacy, from education to advisory services, is driven by our commitment to improve working life. We are a wholly independent, not-for profit body and hold Royal Charter status. Our members include companies of every size, from every sector of the economy, along with public sector organisations, charities and trade unions. The Industrial Society can be found at www.indsoc.co.uk
· iSociety is the Industrial Society’s new 3-5 year research project examining the effects of ICT on UK society. More information can be found at indsoc.co.uk/isociety
· Whatever Happened to the E-Lection is the first comprehensive survey of the internet on voters. It contains exclusive data from an Observer / ICM Election poll. Copies can be obtained from the Press Office below.
· iSociety commissioned Netpoll (http://www.netpoll.net) to run 2 NetGroups ™ (Internet Focus Groups) in the London Marginal Constituencies of Enfield Southgate and Kingston & Surbiton. The groups asked undecided voters about their use of the Internet during the election.
· James Crabtree is available for interview
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