Despite predictions that this would be the first truly digital election, it really hasn’t felt like it. Facebook managed to recruit the young vote, but there was no Obama-like swelling of the ranks, nor any great campaigning moments for any party. Claims yesterday that the Conservatives had stolen the social media high ground by buying YouTube’s homepage for the day, frankly, felt pretty thin.
But today, as the country and its elected representatives sit in some sort of electoral purdah, the BBC is reporting unprecedented web traffic to its UK news site. We just can’t get enough.
As I sit typing here at 1.19pm, the country sits glued to the networks, waiting for the last 25 of the 650 parliamentary seats to be called, knowing no single party can form a majority on its own. While MPs bargain behind Whitehall’s closed doors the real digital election is happening now, on the broadcasts, posts and chat of the post-election news sites – BBC, ITV, and Sky.
Media owners understand that the race is still on to break the hottest political story since the Obama victory – that someone, we don’t quite know who, will manage to wrestle up a UK coalition government worthy of its own 24 hour news channel for the short time it must surely last.