As mainstream media coverage of the campaign converged around the two main party leaders to the exclusion of smaller parties in 2017, you were also less likely to see celebrity faces. In 2015 Labour brought its often high profile celebrity supporters to the heart of their campaign, sometimes giving the impression these celebrities were standing in for Labour’s less telegenic leader.
But a closer look at the 2017 campaign shows that while celebrities were less likely to make headlines, they had far from abandoned Labour. Old faces such as Steve Coogan and Eddie Izzard continued to canvass and make speeches to crowds at rallies. At the same time, celebrities outside of the mainstream in their own fields (most notably young grime artists) were attracted to the Corbyn for his outsider appeal. They were happy to share their newer media platforms with the leader, as well as appearing on television to argue that mainstream media was not giving him a fair hearing.
I’ve written a short piece for this for Election Analysis 2017, a great collection of articles on the election hastily and expertly compiled by Einar Thorsen, Dan Jackson, and Darren Lilliker at the University of Bournemouth.
You can take a look at my article here: http://www.electionanalysis.uk/uk-election-analysis-2017/section-8-personality-politics-and-popular-culture/celebrities4corbyn-continuity-and-change-in-labours-use-of-celebrities/
See the website for 92 great contributions on media and the 2017 General Election: http://www.electionanalysis.uk/
Just don’t ask me to predict when we’re going to have another election.