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Is UKIP continuing to get a free ride?

July 29th, 2009

How much of their June 4th publicity is still in place?

Unlike most of of the other parties a key part of UKIP’s communications strategy at both the June 4th elections and ahead of last week in Norwich has been the heavy reliance on paid-for billboard advertising.

The party did not join the massive leaflet extravaganza in the by-election but invested a lot in creating a presence on the streets through posters and innovative placings such as on telephone kiosks and on the sides of buses as in the picture above. Judging by their results at all levels in the past eight weeks, including council by elections, the strategy is working well.

And there’s an added bonus that only struck me when I was waiting for a bus yesterday – a large amount of their EU election publicity is still in place – hence the picture I was able to take.

For I would guess that one product of the recession is that there’s been a massive cut-back in advertising budgets which means that posters go unchanged until another advertiser comes forward. So the EU election effect is made to be longer-lasting and it isn’t costing UKIP a penny.

In today’s ComRes poll for the Independent support for UKIP is at a healthy 5% taking more, incidentally, from 2005 Labour voters than from Tory ones.

Could the bus posters still be in place at the general election and if so could they be helping to keep the UKIP numbers high? Maybe.

Mike Smithson