Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Election Lines

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Election Lines

Article excerpt

Byline: By Zoe Hughes

The party election broadcast is always a tricky beast and the three main parties repeatedly struggle with how best to balance getting their message across while actually keeping viewers tuned in.

When you have big budgets this is perhaps made a little bit easier. Labour after all drafted in Oscar-nominated director and writer Anthony Minghella for their first short film about the relationship of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

For the Liberal Democrats though, things are not so straightforward, especially when you're having to keep a watchful eye over the purse strings.

This was certainly apparent in their first attempt, broadcast last week, showing leader Charles Kennedy walking around a virtual map.

Pointing to success in Newcastle and Brent East, Mr Kennedy said the party had the growing support of the nation and used clips of "ordinary" people in the street to demonstrate that point exactly.

Ordinary though is far off the mark ( not only did they fail to display one Geordie accent in their broadcast, but they also drafted in the help of activists including a highly-recognisable former aide to Paddy Ashdown.

SHE may not have won the fight, but when Liz Lloyd tried to become Labour's candidate in Bishop Auckland she did have the backing of senior Labour Party members in Westminster.

As was reported at the time, the former Downing Street special adviser was being recommended to the region's MPs by Blair loyalists, with her campaign given a certain helping hand from above.

In the end it proved a fruitless battle, with ex-Treasury mandarin Helen Goodman winning the seat after a close contest with former North-East MEP Barbara O'Toole. However, all is not apparently lost for Ms Lloyd after it was revealed to The Journal the ex-special adviser could soon be moving up the Downing Street career ladder ( to take on the role of head of policy. …

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