An EU apprentice to a US master?

Barack Obama has been recently dubbed in the press as the “Master of Facebook Politics” (see this great NY Times article entitled The Wiki-Way to the Nomination).

This is old news to anyone with even a vague interest in digital public affairs, but now it seems that the mainstream press are waking up to Obama’s pioneering use of social networks in his campaign, especially when it comes to raising money.

Clearly, he was more effective as this than the cash-strapped Clintons. So much so, that many are saying that Obama was effectively elected by the internet.

With this in mind and looking ahead to the Presidentials, it is worth noting that Obama has 953,000 Facebook backers to McCain’s 142,000, according to

With European elections looming, I wonder if any “pennies will be dropping” with some of our more reserved MEPs. Reading the recent Times and Telegraph articles about Obama’s digital success must surely wake a few of them up.

We estimate that at the moment about 2-3% of MEPs have their own Facebook groups (some of our rather unfortunate junior FH colleagues are currently undertaking a rather arduous digital audit of our 780 or so friends on Rue Wiertz). When we get around to it, we’ll post the full results on this site.

Anyway, some notable MEP facebook groupies currently include: Michel Rocard, Ashley Mote, and both Jean Marie and Marine Le Pen. However, I suspect the number of MEPs using such social networking tools will rocket as soon as they realise the financial implications for their upcoming campaigns.


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July 01, 2008 | 2:50 PM

You're right, thanks for spotting this Natasha. Clearly, we mistook this as a genuinely selfless act by Mr Mote :) Let's hope that come EP election time, he "spares no expense" in his dedication to digital (pun intended).

Natasha Hurley
June 30, 2008 | 3:34 PM

Was quite surprised to read that Ashley Mote ('plus réac que ca, tu meures') is an aficionado of facebook, so eagerly clicked on your link only to find that the page dedicated to him is actually calling for ... his resignation. So, not strictly a facebook groupie then.. (oh, if only it were true!)