What does Tristram Hunt really know about connecting with voters?

Social media is disconnecting the Labour party from the majority of voters, Tristram Hunt suggested in a speech last night.

The MP, who resigned from the shadow cabinet following Jeremy Corbyn's election, claimed Labour's digitally-based "new politics" of "Twitter-led mobilisations" and "perennial demonstration," was making the party lose touch with the electorate.

"There is a risk, I think, with what we might call 'algorithm politics,'' he told an audience at Sheffield University.

"What the algorithms which underpin our digital lives do is take information about us and fire similar information back at us.

"Google's skill at offering you what it knows you like is now directing you towards what you want to hear, from people like you. And I think this is radicalising political opinion amongst the congregation – from left to right – emboldens group-think and disconnects the hyper-engaged from the sentiments of the wider electorate."

Now this may well all be true, although quite why Hunt believes he has uniquely escaped this brainwashing influence from his own 'hyper-engaged' 38,000 Twitter followers isn't entirely clear.

However, I do wonder whether Hunt is the right person to be giving lectures about connecting with voters.

After all, at the last general election in May, Hunt registered the lowest voter turnout of any MP in the country.

Just 49.9% of the electorate in Stoke-on-Trent Central bothered to turn out to vote, with Hunt receiving the backing of a derisory 19% of his constituents.

Overall he won just 12,220 votes, the lowest ever result for a victorious candidate in his seat and 14,000 fewer than Labour managed in 1997.

And it's not just on the street. Even within his own party, Hunt's voter-attracting powers appear limited.

Earlier this year Hunt launched his bid to be the next Labour leader but was forced to pull out within weeks after his calls for the party to attract "John Lewis couples" failed to secure him the necessary 35 nominations needed to get onto the ballot.

With a record like that, Hunt arguably knows quite a lot about disengaging voters.

Although quite why he thinks the rest of us should listen to him for advice on the subject remains far less clear.