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Rishi Sunak’s latest ‘blank page’ Labour election attack backfires

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The Labour Party has turned an attempt by Rishi Sunak to mock them into a viral post that looks like he is endorsing them.

The Conservative Party’s latest post on TikTok shows the prime minister explaining “Labour’s policy for our country’s future” on a flipchart.

The short video sees him turn over the cover to show a blank page, before capping a pen in his hand, placing it down and walking off-camera.

The short video sees Rishi Sunak turn over the flipchart cover to show a blank page
The short video sees Rishi Sunak turn over the flipchart cover to show a blank page (@ukconservatives/TikTok)

The video is part of the Tories claims Labour has “no plan” for government in this election period, as they campaign under the slogan “clear plan, bold action, secure future”.

But Labour’s social media team were quick to hit back at the video with an edited version that showed Sir Keir Starmer’s “first steps for change” on the flipchart.

The six pledges, previous outlined by Sir Keir, are to “deliver economic stability, cut NHS waiting times, launch a new Border Security Command, set up Great British Energy, cut down on antisocial behaviour and recruit 6,500 new teachers”.

The Labour Party post has now received over 2.4 million views on X and a further 308,000 on TikTok.

This comes as major political parties have taken to TikTok and social media in an attempt to appeal to younger voters.

The Labour Party posted an edited version that showed Sir Keir Starmer ’s ‘first steps for change’
The Labour Party posted an edited version that showed Sir Keir Starmer ’s ‘first steps for change’ (@UKLabour/X)

Social media has been touted as a key battleground in general elections for many years, but having launched in the UK in August 2018, TikTok was only in its infancy during the last poll at the end of 2019.

TikTok is now used by over 9 million people in the UK.

Labour launched its account on the app three days before the Conservatives – posting an 11-second video on Thursday evening of leader Sir Keir Starmer declaring: “Change. That is what this election is about.”

Since then, the feed has been a mixture of clips from the party’s campaign trail, brief explainers and, most successfully, memes mocking the Tories and the Prime Minister.

Social media experts have previously told The Independent that Labour’s “savvier” social media team has so far come out on top on the app, while the Conservatives’ launch on the video has been branded “pathetic”.

Kate Dommett, Professor of Digital Politics at the University of Sheffield said: “The Conservative’s videos look very prerecorded, don’t look natural and are not keeping with the platform’s aesthetic.

“The Labour Party are doing well by playing into voter frustrations and it’s much easier to do that with irreverent content on TikTok, whereas the Conservative Party are attempting to have serious policy conversations on the social media, and that just doesn’t work.”

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