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Saturday 30 August 2014

9 election hopefuls attempting to be 'down with the kids'

Social media a huge part of the election hopefuls' strategies

Clare Cullen

Published 20/05/2014 | 13:21

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Snapchat: temporary picture sharing app

Politicians running for election in the upcoming local and European elections are attempting to be 'down with the kids'.

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Many of the candidate hopefuls are attempting to connect with 'generation C' in new ways - through Twitter, Facebook and even Snapchat.

We've collated a list of some of the ways candidates are using social media and publicity stunts to gain the (notoriously-brief) attention of the 'millennial' generation.


1. Nessa Childers

Much like Michael D Higgins during his presidential election campaign, Childers has taken to Twitter to connect with potential voters, even going as far as to use crying 'emojiis' when discussing the bad weather. However, some of the tweets are scarily reminiscent of the @Irishmammies Twitter account.



2. Kieran Heartley

Kieran Heartley is using Facebook to connect with the voters but it would seem like it's not enough; only seven people responded to his (now deleted) election event.

Kieran Heartley.jpg 


3. Phil Prendergast

Perhaps the most 'down with the kids' of all, Phil is literally communicating with teenagers through her use of 'Snapchat'. An app famed for risque snaps by young people, Phil uses the app to send 'selfies' to potential voters. No stranger to autocorrect typos either, we imagine the below was supposed to say 'PrimeTime'.



4. Ella Goddin

We assume Ella was hoping someone would tweet a picture of her atop a unicycle performing in Cork City Center while canvassing for votes in the local election. Otherwise - why?


5. Diarmuid O' Flynn

Apparently even the dogs on the street are voting for Flynn. (We'll get our coats)

Diarmuid O' Flynn.JPG 


6. Ming Flanagan

Not one to be outdone, Luke 'Ming' Flanagan tweeted this nonsensical offering.


FYI He's also trying to get the hashtag #RiotAtTheBallot going.


7. Lorraine Higgins

Higgins used her amazing photoshop skills to get a 'sweet burn' (is that how the kids say it?) on Ming, prompting cries of 'cyber-bullying'.

Lorraine Higgins.JPG 


8. Dr. Keith Redmond

Redmond is jumping on board the 'Oh, aren't we so Irish?' train with this one.

Keith 2.JPG 


Interestingly, Redmond is handing out tiny toothpaste tubes, which Independent.ie's Jason Kennedy remarked was a "fresh approach".

Keith Redmond.JPG 


9. Caroline Conroy

Caroline Conroy - rather amusingly, it has to be said - using anti-candidate sentiment for a bit of twitter humour. However, this photo is clearly staged as the photo depth belies it was taken by a non-professional.

Caroline Conroy.JPG 


The question remains whether or not these light-hearted, social-heavy approaches will pay off for the candidates on polling day.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below - does utilising these platforms make the candidates more relatable and accessible or do you take them less seriously as a result?


Here are some more tweets from both candidates and voters, detailing candidates efforts and mishaps from canvassing at meat markets to parking in disabled spaces. One canvasser even attempted to use the knife-wielding lady featured on Republic of Telly to gain favour with voters - all this list is missing is a 'felfie'! - and voters are using Twitter to make their feelings on the candidates very clear.


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