Election ads fail to woo non-voters

An Electoral Commission advertising campaign aimed at encouraging people to vote in the General Election failed to attract voters to the ballot box, according to research.

An Electoral Commission advertising campaign aimed at encouraging people to vote in the General Election failed to attract voters to the ballot box, according to research.

The “Don’t Do Politics” campaign, which features animated characters Tom and Mike, was first aired during the run-up to the 2004 European election and was widely credited with helping to increase turnout from 24 per cent to 39 per cent.

But the commission’s research, carried out by Ipsos, shows that, though awareness levels for the ads were over 75 per cent and 88 per cent of people understood the message that it was important to vote, just 43 per cent of people who saw them “decided to vote” because of them.

The campaign was then reprised during the General Election earlier this year in a &£4m push that aimed to show that most issues – from high petrol prices to pub opening hours – have a political root. The ads, created by St Luke’s, featured the strapline: “If you don’t do politics, there’s not much you do do”.

Statistics show that just 61 per cent of the population voted in this year’s election, an increase of only two per cent over the record low turnout in 2001.

The Electoral Commission says that the Ipsos research shows “that the campaign was received very positively”.

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