Election posters are ineffective, researcher claims

Parties will continue with the medium regardless

Political commentators are on the edge of their seats waiting for word to come out of Christiansborg announcing a parliamentary election. And it won’t be long thereafter before trees, lampposts or even tall gentlemen standing still for too long get covered with the familiar campaign posters.

In fact, this time there will be even more than usual as DR reports that most of the country’s political parties have ordered more than they did in 2011, but according to research by Karina Kosiara-Pedersen, an associate professor in political science at Copenhagen University, it’s all a waste of time, effort and money.

“In municipal elections putting posters up has an effect,” Kosiara-Pedersen told DR.

“But we can’t find any effect of the campaign posters for the parliamentary election in 2011.”

Scared to be first mover
The research project sought to isolate the posters’ effect by looking at the personal votes they won against different parameters, considering factors such as the number of activists on their team and their participation in debates.

Despite this, Kosiara-Pedersen explains that parties will continue to hang the posters. “You could say that many are scared of experimenting with being the first that doesn’t have posters,” she said.