Conservative and Labour General Election campaign posters- in pictures

Lynsey Barber
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(Source: Getty)

And so it begins.

The countdown to the general election has kicked off unceremoniously with a German road upstaging the Conservative's message.

David Cameron’s “road to recovery” poster was unveiled, trumpeting the party's strengthening of the economy as well as supporting its argument that Labour can’t be trusted with such matters.

Within hours, the claims made on the poster (that the deficit was halved) came under fire.

Further digging then uncovered the very road being held up as British, a metaphor for the country's future, was, in fact, a picture of a road in Germany.

Meanwhile, Labour responded with its own posters attacking the Tories and using images from the Conservative’s 2010 election campaign.

Be prepared for another 122 days of this.

Here’s a look back at some of the poster campaigns from past General Elections to give you an idea of what we’re in for in the months ahead.


(Source: Labour)

This was Labour’s response to the Conservative’s “starting the firing gun” on the campaigning for this year’s election.

And this, slightly more wordy poster, again on the hot-button issue of the NHS

(Source: Labour)


(Source: Getty)

Here’s the original image the Conservative’s launched ahead of the previous election in 2010, featuring Cameron, and, er, one graffiti artist in Edinburgh’s opinion of it, proving that it's not just political rivals taking over the message, even before the ubiquity of social media.


(Source: Getty)

35 year's later, and this Conservative poster is still held up as one of the greatest ads, not just in political campaigning, but of all time, such was its effect.

If you thought the German road rage was the first row to be had over images used in a political poster, you'd be wrong- this picture was a bit of a fake too.

The people waiting in the dole queue pictured were actually members of Hendon Young Conservatives, not unemployed members of the public. Not only that, even before photoshop was invented, a little photographic magic had to be used to turn the 20 Tory volunteers who turned up to the shoot into a queue of hundreds.

Labour politician Denis Healey denounced the ad as "selling politics like soap-powder". Its creator Martyn Walsh at ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi said it was this that made the previously rather insignificant ad with a tiny budget take off.

Plus ca change.


The demon eyes of Tony Blair were a return to form in 1997 for Conservative poster campaigns, on par with the 1979 election winner.

While almost as memorable, "New Labour, New Danger" wasn't quite as effective. The poster was withdrawn after the Advertising Standards Authority found the poster represented Blair in a dishonest and sinister way, and the Tories were told they "should have known better".

The original poster, featuring a picture of Blair with the red eyes of a demon, was replaced and the demon eyes theme reused but without Blair's face.

The Conservatives also lost the election of course, with Labour claiming a landmark victory.

Here's the demon eyes as they appeared in a Party Political Broadcast.


(Source: Getty)

Pre-recession and Labour had economic success to boast about too. In 2005, these era themed, and surprisingly colourful ads helped the party to another victory.

Let's not forget, it's not just the Conservatives who have got themselves caught up in a fake political ad row (will politicians never learn?).

Ukip, never far from any row, were the butt of jokes after it was revealed an Irish actor appeared in a poster about British workers and migration last year.

Then, in the midst of the glorious days of 2012, London was in the spotlight for not only hosting the Olympics, but as the scene of a battle of wills between Boris Johnson and Ken Livingston in the Mayoral election.

It was Livingston who gained viral attention for a parliamentary broadcast when he cried at its screening, until, that is, the "ordinary" Londoners featured in the film causing him to blub were discovered to be paid actors. Awks.

Watch the ad below and make up your own mind if it's a tearjerker or not.

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