Written by Luna Webster
What do you expect to see leading the headlines a fortnight before the general election? Maybe some political scandal or poll predictions, perhaps hopeful MPs visiting hospitals or schools or local businesses. Well, how about hundreds and thousands of teenage girls proclaiming their love for party leaders – in particular, Ed Miliband.
The so called “Milifandom” was started by a Labour Party member called Abby (twcuddleston on twitter). Initially the campaign was to be used to turn Miliband’s media coverage into something a little more positive by posting photos of the opposition leader looking powerful and competent, but it didn’t take too long for Ed to become the political version of Harry Styles.
The Milifandom hashtag is dominating Twitter and even provoked the creation of an opposing fandom; the “Cameronettes”. However, for some reason, Cameron hasn’t quite reached the levels of support Miliband has within teen girls online.
It’s easy to dismiss the Milifandom as a useless political stunt but really, it’s more than that. The very nature of it is including young people in political debate. Maybe it is humorous more than anything else but it could, and has, lead some people onto genuine political engagement. It’s also a positive for Ed, who has undoubtedly been the target of some very unfair media bias for not his policies, but his personality and appearance.