Writing for ConservativeHome, Grant Shapps’ former top advisor seems keen for his old boss to take credit for the parts of the election campaign which worked, but strangely not for a new IT system which went into meltdown on polling day — leaving Tory activists across the country unable to print vital ‘get out the vote’ data.
But it’s definitely not Shapps fault, honest, says Paul Abbott:
“Votesource was built in-house by a small coding team in CCHQ, because our antiquated Party Constitution makes it impossible to use off-the-shelf systems from America.”
Impossible, eh? Is that why Tory HQ reportedly spent some time considering whether to do precisely that? One option on the table was Nationbuilder — an off-the-shelf system from, errrr, America:
“A debate then followed about how best to replace [the party’s old voter ID system]. Should CCHQ buy off the shelf – getting a product like NationBuilder … or develop their own system in-house, to precisely fit CCHQ’s needs? The fateful decision was made to go with the latter option.
No prizes for guessing who ultimately oversaw the development of Votesource — and was personally billed as “unveiling” the project before it became mired in technical issues.
And as for the claim that the party’s constitution prohibited an off-the-shelf system …
… that would be the same constitution that says: “The Board shall have power to do anything which in its opinion relates to the management and administration of the Party”.