Are politicians leaflet-obsessed?

So asks The Big Issue:

Political parties are willing to invest a lot of money in this stuff, so long as your vote appears to be up for grabs. At the last general election, they spent a total of £25.2m on “unsolicited material” such as leaflets.

According to the Electoral Reform Society, the constituency that saw the most money spent on campaigning at the last general election was Luton South. The 12 candidates spent a total of £129,687 bombarding residents with campaign materials – which worked out at £3.07 per vote. At the other end of the scale, in the ultra-safe Labour seat of Bootle, the parties spent 14p per vote (and the Conservative Party spent nothing at all).

Is it really worth it? Well, 70 per cent of voters claimed to have seen an election leaflet, and more than 25 per cent claimed to have been influenced “a fair amount” by them. “It’s a technology that can reach almost everyone – more people have letterboxes than are on social media,” reckons Mark Pack, editor of the Liberal Democrat Newswire.

“Despite the extra effort involved in returning one compared to clicking a link online, petitions and surveys on leaflets regularly have response rates that online advertisers would die for.”

You can read the piece about political leaflets in full here and my Q&A on leafleting volume is here.

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