Saturday, February 05, 2011

Do Election Posters Work? #ge11 #rte11 #vinb

I'd like to meet the person who looks up at an election poster and decides there and then - "I'm going to vote for the person on that poster". Marketing people tell us that that posters are very important - I recall from the last election in 2007 that some candidates were regarded as "having run a good poster campaign". Getting your face familiar to the electorate is apparently vital, and election posters are supposedly a very effective way of doing this. I suppose this is especially true for new candidates. We have already seen the full portrait posters (mostly now blown away by the wind) - these will be followed in the days leading up to polling with those clever diamond shaped smaller signs with candidate and party names. But do election posters work?

Poster ties on lamp post
at the end of my garden.
(Click to enlarge).
The wind has indeed taken its toll on posters and will no doubt have caused financial worries to all parties as they will have to be replaced. Printing companies must be very happy! Do the party volunteers not check the weather forecast? We now have the unsightly poster ties littering our lamp posts - now we have shiny new ones to go with the dirty old ones left over from the last election. I have ranted written about these poster ties before (here, and here). A message to all the political parties - please take down all the poster ties when you are replacing posters blown away by the wind?

While out and about today I took some photos of posters with my iPhone. As I was doing so, I asked myself if they have any effect on my voting intentions. The answer is a definite "No". It doesn't matter how many air-brushed posters (Mary Lou in Dublin Central is looking fantastic!) that parties put up in my neighbourhood - it has no influence on how I vote - I almost feel insulted by their presence. Here is a selection of posters (carefully chosen to represent three biggest parties) in the Blackrock area in the constituency of Dún Laoghaire:

Mary Mitchell-O'Conner
looking for the postal vote.

Olivia Mitchell (in the wrong constituency)
shows us what she thinks of Eamon Gilmore.
(Stillorgan Park)

A crooked politician?
(Stillorgan Park)

Mary Hanafin looking for
votes from tree people.
(Marion Park).

Not many votes down here Eamon!
(Newtown Park).

Mary Mitchell-O'Conner
gets under a wheelie-bin.
(Newtownpark Avenue).

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