Making the most of Canvassing
First we have to decide the purpose of canvassing.
Canvassing is to get your supporters to actually get out and vote for your party on election day. It is not persuade people that your party is the best party.
Persuading people that yours is the best party is the job of leaflets, and discussion on the television.
Canvassing finds out who your supporters are by knocking on their doors.
What to say? I would suggest something like " Are you Mr Jo Bloggs? I am canvassing for the XXXX Party. Do you think that you will be supporting us at the election on Xth May."
You should have a paper copy of the electoral role on a clipboard, and mark their reply next to their name, Y (Yes), N (No), D (Doubtful).
If the reply is I am not sure, you might want to say something encouraging about your party and leave a leaflet. But for Yes and No you should thank them warmly and then move on quickly.
On election day your party needs to have tellers at the polling stations. They must only ask for the voters polling number and must not talk politics. The lists of numbers are taken to a volunters committee room in a nearby house. These numbers are then marked with a tick on the electoral role canvassing sheets. This this shows which of your supporters have not yet voted.
This is knocking on the doors of your supporters and reminding them that today is polling day. You might offer them transport to the polling station. Alternatively your party might have a special TODAY IS ELECTION DAY leaflet, that you could put through the letter boxes of your supporters.
Last edited by SDP; 22-11-2011 at 12:39 PM.
In 2004 I was canvassing for the UK Independence Party.
The average reply back in 2004 was "Never heard of them. What are they about then?"
This was hopeless. It is a waste of time canvassing people who have never heard of your party.
The area should have been thoroughly leafleted several times first.
Last edited by SDP; 22-11-2011 at 12:37 PM.
The purpose of canvassing is to get your supporters out on election day and win the election. For this reason it is best to only canvass areas where you are likely to win or come second.
If you are currently coming third or fourth in your area then you need more leaflets, not more canvassing.