General Election 2015: The battle buses (and a Smart car) take to the road

It's all about the seats – bus seats, that is. As the election campaign hits top gear the main parties are hitting the road in 'battle buses', a feature of elections since the 1940s. But who has the best one and what does each vehicle reveal about the party behind the wheel?

Liberal Democrats

Battle bus: A 42-seat Van Hool.

Appearance: Extremely yellow.  The eye-catching design was created by two art students.

Slogan: “Stronger economy, fairer society, opportunity for everyone”

Key features: Satellite transmitter that allows Nick Clegg to conduct radio interviews on the move; lighting system with “disco mode”.

Weaknesses: Size – it got jammed on a narrow road in Oxfordshire.

Ticket to ride: Journalists pay £750 a day to climb aboard.



Battle bus: A Spanish-built Irizar.

Appearance: Big, blue and decorated with union flags.

Slogan: “On the road to a better future”

Key features: Leather seats, plasma TV screens.

Ticket to ride: The Tory bus is strictly invitation only, but journalists who make the cut  enjoy complimentary sandwiches, tea, fruit and coffee.


Battle bus: A modified Routemaster.

Appearance: Bright green, naturally.

Slogan: TBC

Key features: The Greens’ battle bus runs on chip fat and vegetable oil.

Weaknesses: Unknown as yet.

Ticket to ride: Party members welcome, but it will only be on the road for the final two weeks.


Battle buses: A Mercedes coach and two Fiat Scudo Panoramas.

Appearance: The coach is silver, Ed Miliband’s Fiat is gold and Harriet Harman’s is (controversially) pink.

Slogan: “A better plan, a better future”

Key features: Agility. The Fiats can navigate roads too narrow for the Mercedes.

Weaknesses: One of the Fiats broke down on the first day.

Ticket to ride: Journalists pay £100 a day to ride with Labour luminaries.


Battle bus: The party doesn’t have one.

A Ukip-branded Smart car was sighted at the party’s campaign launch on Canvey Island, Essex, in February, but a spokesman told The Independent on Sunday that its leaders would be travelling on public transport “just like the rest of us”.

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