The Popbitch Guide to Election Apps

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Forget the TV debates, the 2010 election is all about App.

The Labour Party i-Campaign

The Labour Party i-Campaign menu

App-earance: Labour’s quick to load but otherwise austere offering is supposed to be the perfect campaigning tool. The brief intro flashes blue skies, signaling “A future fair for all” with the corner of a Union Jack poking in. This is rapidly replaced by a bold red menu screen (above); clunky to use but full of information.

App-lication: The full manifesto can be scrutinized in either video or written format and the app uses GPS to keep you in the know about Labour events near you. The ‘Inside the Campaign’ section is, surprisingly, not mind numbingly dull. Names dropped include Blur’s drummer and City of London and Westminster candidate, Dave Rowntree and comedienne, Amy Lame.

Overall: 8/10

Best thing: Surprisingly interesting.

Worst thing: Sadly unresponsive to the touch.

The Conservative Party General Election App

Conservative Party App Menu Screen

App-earance: The Conservatives were first to launch their App; a gorgeously designed campaigning machine complete with an option to ‘Call a Friend’ so you fill them in on any exciting developments in Cameron’s camp. The intro gives us a blinding blue sky with a beam of light emanating from the centre, as if the heavens are opening. Nope, there’s no cheesy Sistine Chapel touching fingers. Instead there’s an even cheesier “Year For Change” slogan. We’re now presented with a swish oblonged menu sequence – the Conservatives are far too forward thinking for corners.

App-lication: The app’s features are quite simple. Like Labour, it has a written manifesto and news updates, but it also carries the bizarre ‘Call a Friend function and a ‘Swing-O-Meter’. The ‘Swing-O-Meter’ is one of those wonderful political diagrams that attempts to convey information with a simple visual aide, but manages to teach you nothing at all of any use.

Overall: 5/10

Best thing: The design; the optimistic glare is genuinely blinding.

Worst thing: The ‘Swing-O-Meter’? An awful chunk of non-science.

Lib Dem Manifesto 2010

Lib Dem Manifesto App Menu

App-earance: A white background. The slogan, “Change that works for you” scrolls down the screen from top to bottom. Oh wait, the Liberal Democrat’s app is the only one that’s landscape. They truly are pushing a different brand of politics. Aren’t they innovative? Aren’t they exciting? Unfortunately, the menu screen looks like one of those ‘learn-a-language’ computer programs and there isn’t a lot to do.

App-lication: There are eight manifesto videos to watch, but bizarrely you can only watch three at a time. No, you have to watch three at a time. There is something brilliant about having a pocket size Nick Clegg in your hands gesticulating about policy, but be warned, political conviction will drain your battery.

Overall: 7/10

Best Thing: Having your very own pocket sized Nick Clegg.

Worst Thing: The menu screen – was it made using WinArt?

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