Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg is reaching out to voters in an unconventional way – through hook-up apps Grindr, Hornet and Scruff.
The Deputy Prime Minister – who is already planning to take part in a Q&A with PinkNews readers – has become the first British party leader to reach out to the gay community through hook-up apps.
An eagle-eyed Twitter user in his Sheffield Hallam constituency spotted the leader’s profile on the app, below.
Had a day trip to see Sheffield friends… but I wasn’t expecting to see this on Grindr! pic.twitter.com/n09thlLXWR
— Simon George (@sfcgim) March 31, 2015
Mr Clegg has created profiles on the apps in order to engage with local voters – and it is understood the party will also run ads and push notifications to reach out to gay members of the public across the UK.
A source close to the Deputy Prime Minister told PinkNews: “We’re really proud of some of the things we’ve done on same-sex marriage and LGBT rights more broadly… but we need to find a way to reach out to voters and share our message.
“Nick has gone for a really hands on approach – and will be replying to all of the messages personally, no matter how raunchy.”
The Lib Dem will be hoping to receive a more positive reaction on the apps than David Cameron would – as PinkNews polling has consistently showed that Mr Clegg is seen as the most gay-friendly leader.
It is thought that Mr Clegg came up with the idea after observing a number of his gay staff spending considerable time on the apps.
The source added: “Ed Miliband took the election campaign into the kitchen – now Nick Clegg wants to take it into the bedroom.
“It might seem like a strange idea, but we really need gay voters to come out and support us in May if we want to have a chance against Labour and the Tories.”
A senior Lib Dem candidate pointed out: “Grindr’s colour scheme even matches our party colours!”
It is understood that Mr Clegg, who is concerned about the increasing rates of chemsex, will also be reaching out to users on the apps who are offering drugs to educate them about the risks.
It’s not the first time the apps have been used for politics – an enterprising Scottish pollster used Grindr last year to poll users ahead of the country’s independence referendum.