History

How political leaflets used to look: Clapham constituency, 1955

Continuing my occasional series on how election leaflets used to look, this one is a Labour freepost election address from the 1955 general election in Clapham constituency in London.

The front of the leaflet is a design unlikely to be used today:

Labour election leaflet, Clapham, 1955 (front)

Dated too is the right-hand side of the inside, with its appeal from the candidate’s wife to female voters – a common tactic at the time.

Despite the old-fashioned typography, the layout is clear and easy to read thanks to the good use of white space and strong headings – a lesson that many modern literature writers forget.

Note also the talk of having helped 3,000 people as an MP over the previous five years. This is presented as if it is a large number, but it is a mere fraction of what many MPs now do.

Labour election leaflet, Clapham, 1955 (inside)

The back of the leaflet contains a reminder of the task that used to take up large amounts of time for political helpers – handwriting the name and address on election freepost leaflets.

Labour election leaflet, Clapham, 1955 (back)

4 responses to “How political leaflets used to look: Clapham constituency, 1955”

  1. As one of a team that has just hand written MANY thousands of blue envolopes for the Haringey Postal vote campaign … nothing changes!!

  2. I am gobsmacked to see my school come up in this way – and my old area constituency. I am reeling or probably wouldn’t have troubled the internet with such a personal reaction…except that I stood as Liberal in a mock election at the school in 1966. I got 192 votes, as I recall, and no other party got three figures. I think I had badges (analogous to “I made Richmond happen”) but no blue envelopes…..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments and data you submit with them will be handled in line with the privacy and moderation policies.