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A battle bus is a luxury coach shared by reporters, political commentators and a politician, usually a party leader, to give them all access to each other as they traverse the country making speeches and other engagements during a general election campaign, especially in the United Kingdommarker. In theory, the mutual advantage is that journalists get close access to politicians, and politicians can convey their message more directly to those reporting them.


Battle buses were first seen in the late 1970s. Before that, reporters followed party leaders in separate cars. The battle bus was a significant feature of the 1987 UK general election as David Owen and David Steel of the SDP-Liberal Alliance each crisscrossed the country in matching battle buses, each painted bright yellow.

By 1992, the journalistic trail had become airborne with the introduction of the battle plane.


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