Freesteel Blog » Double your freepost

Double your freepost

Thursday, April 29th, 2010 at 10:51 am Written by:

I was scanning loads of leaflets sent in to me last night, and noticed something odd about these two leaflets sent to the same address:

At first I thought they were targeted to two different people. (I’ve seen Tory leaflets like this where they send you stuff about pensions if they know you are of a certain age.)

But these leaflets — while completely different — were simply too boring and banal to be targetting. You can’t find who their audiences are.

This was a mystery until I got this Election Communication leaflet at my house this morning:

See, it’s addressed to the two people in the same household. This avoids multiple identical leaflets appearing at the same place, which instantly transforms them into junk mail. (Also saves paper, but that’s a lesser issue; they don’t care about paper.)

We also had an Election Communication from the Conservative Party:

Hang on! I’ve already got one of these Election Communications! It arrived here over a week ago. It was the folded up booklet kind.

I thought the parties get only one freepost Election Communication per candidate. (The rest have to be paid for by themselves or delivered by hand.) What are we doing with two?

The rule in Section 91(1) of the Representation of the People Act 1983 says:

A candidate at a parliamentary election is entitled to send free of any charge for postage either (a) one unaddressed postal communication, containing matter relating to the election only and not exceeding 60 grammes in weight, to each place in the constituency which constitutes a delivery point for the purposes of this subsection; or (b) one such postal communication addressed to each elector.

A few days ago, Becka invoked part (a), the unaddressed delivery, one per household.

But if you have money, organization, masses of computers, and economies of scale, you can use invoke part (b) to get multiple effective mailings to each address according to the number of registered voters. Often these will be cohabiting couples who will no doubt share their Election Communications, basically doubling the number of leaflets obtained from this law.

The Tories and LibDems seemed to have done it. But Labour have not.

To leave evidence available, please mark your leaflets as “same address” and initial it if you redact it.

(You do not need to redact addresses. As you can see, I don’t.)


  • 1. Adrian McEwen replies at 29th April 2010, 12:40 pm :

    The one upside to unaddressed leaflets is that you catch people like me who haven’t lived at our current address long enough to get round to adding ourselves to the electoral register. I’m on it now, but it was too late for the two Tory letters like you got that they’ve sent to the previous tenants of my flat. As a result, I’ve not read any of their leaflets because they haven’t sent them to me.

  • 2. Mark Pack replies at 30th April 2010, 8:48 am :

    This is very widely done by all parties across the country and has been for decades. Even pre-computers – when instead large groups of people would sit down with tables, pens, cups of tea and lists of names to write out on envelopes.

    It takes more organisation and resources, so usually whether or not a candidate has done this gives a bit of an insight into how strong or weak their organisation is.

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