Despite its central role in political communications, the election poster is a strangely neglected beast. Yet, since the nineteenth century right up to the 2010 general election and the recent AV referendum campaign they can tell us so much about how the parties think of themselves and those whose support they are trying to mobilise. The example above is a Conservative poster from 1929 – the first election after all adult women gained the vote – and the party is appealing to them as respectable (if superstitious) tea-drinkers!
My PhD is exploring the role of the election poster from the 1906 landslide to the present day. To that end I have established a blog that will explore ongoing work on an exhibition I am curating on the history of the poster which is due to open in November 2011, at the People’s History Museum, Manchester.