Encouraging Electoral Drinking and Tactical Voting: A Yorkshire Jug
A transfer-printed jug, probably made by the Don Pottery in Swinton, Yorkshire, highlights the potential for the cultural products of elections to encourage particular kinds of behaviour.

The jug supports Charles William Wentworth Fitzwilliam, Viscount Milton, in the expensive and fiercely fought Yorkshire election of 1807. Combining material culture with text, it bears the inscription ‘He that calls here / Shall have this full of Beer / That gave Milton / A Plumper’. The jug promotes particular kinds of electoral conduct: not only drinking, but also ‘plumping’: an eighteenth-century version of tactical voting, in which voters used only one of the two votes they were allowed so as not to help other candidates – in this case, giving a single vote to Milton. The poll book for the election shows that Milton’s victory was indeed secured by such tactics, pointing to possible links between different electoral interventions and electoral behaviour.

Copyright The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, C.1130-1928