What Election Messages Achieved Cut-Through?

07 Feb 2020 | 10.52 am

What Election Messages Achieved Cut-Through?

Core research points to housing issues

07 Feb 2020 | 10.52 am

Sinn Féin’s pledge to deliver 100,000 social and affordable homes, and Labour’s promise to keep the pension age at 66, had the most impact on voters in the first two weeks of the election campaign.

That’s according to marketing communications firm Core, based on the views of 1,000 participants analysing 18 stories up to January 29.

The research found that six out of ten adults were aware of Sinn Féin’s housing proposal, with 68% saying it was important to them. Four out of ten said they were aware of Fianna Fáil’s promise of a saving scheme for first time buyers that would top up savings by one-third. The same proportion said they were aware that Fine Gael said it would expand the Help to Buy scheme to €30,000 for first time buyers.

However, Sinn Féin’s housing message had the greatest cut-through, according to Core’s General Election Cultural Index. In terms of impact, Core says the top performing message in the first half of the campaign were:

• Sinn Féin promises 100,000 social and affordable homes
• Labour promise to keep the pension age at 66 years old
• Fine Gael commit to not going into Government with Sinn Féin
• Sinn Féin excluded from RTE (initally) and Virgin Media’s leaders debates
• Leo Varadkar admits to having taken illegal drugs “a long time ago”.

On Labour’s pension pledge, 54% were aware of the story and 75% said it was important to them, particularly older voters. Fine Gael declaring it would not go into government with Sinn Féin had 59% awareness, with 50% saying it was important to them.

Despite ranking highest in awareness, Leo Varadkar’s owning up to drug use ranked low in importance, with only 20% saying it was important to them. Stories that received less interest included Fine Gael pledging to expand the Help to Buy scheme to €30,000, and Fianna Fail’s claim that rent freeze would be unconstitutional.

Finian Murphy (pictured), marketing director at Core, commented: “As our Review of 2019 and our Predict 2020 report suggested, housing has dominated the general election. While health is important, most parties agree on Sláintecare, and therefore housing stories were always going to be critiqued by a generation of voters who rent.

“Over the final days of this campaign, while other news stories may resonate with voters it is this list of campaign stories which we believe will have the greatest influence on shaping the general election outcome.”

 

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