There’s a *ahem* interesting new trend online: the rise of the #milifan. Teenage girls who love (or pretend to love) Ed Miliband with the same ardour as fandom once turned on One Direction and Twilight. Yes, ha ha ha it’s very silly. Aren’t young girls silly, not taking politics seriously and pretending to fancy Ed Miliband who is (despite the media’s insistence on his background as a heartbreaker), not your typical heartthrob.
But the thing is, it’s easy to dismiss the #milifandom as teenage girls being silly, but it’s more. It’s young people harnessing the power of humour and the viral media (buzzfeed, vine, memes) in order to spread engagement with a politician who, if they don’t believe in him per se with whom they are at least less disillusioned than with the rest.
And it seems to be having some political impact. The founder of the #milifandom has already convinced their parents to vote Labour instead of Tory.
Thing is, it’s easy to dismiss because it’s driven by young girls, but we shouldn’t underestimate the power of fandom. It’s fandom alone that made Fifty Shades of Grey such a meteoric success. It’s fan hysteria that seems to have made (and unmade) One Direction. What if the power of internet social media could also be turned to shape the political world, to make sure that the young generation had its own voice? Sure, Milifandom is a joke, but it’s also powerful.
I’ll be interested to see how it plays out in the polls of May 7th. If more young people vote, it can only be a good thing.