Campaign Corner: What to do on the doorstep

Welcome to a new series of posts, each of which will look to give three tips about commonly asked campaign issues. Thanks to Louise Shaw for prompting the idea and also supplying some of the questions I’ll be using in the next few weeks. Do get in touch if you have any questions you would like to suggest.

Today’s Campaign Corner question: Not many people in my local party like canvassing and when we go door knocking the ‘outs’ always seem to win by a mile. How can we make better use of our time?

1. Get more people door knocking: for people who have never canvassed, the idea of doing it seems much harder than it really is. So to build up your team of volunteers, try out a variety of different doorstep activities, such as collecting petition signatures for a local campaign or doing a door-to-door survey on the state of recycling and waste collection in the road. Many people find it much easier to get started with this sort of doorstep activity.

2. Organise people efficiently: when you do go canvassing, print two copies of the canvass cards and go out in pairs, with each person having their own copy of the canvass cards. Going out in pairs is much more fun than going out solo (and deals with any issues such as concern over personal safety) – and if you each have your own set of complete canvass cards there is no messing around with time lost as you wait around for someone else to give you the names for the next door.

3. Set a target: one reason people often end up doing lots of delivery and little canvassing is that when you have printed all the leaflets for an area, they sit there as a constant reminder that the job has not yet been done. By contrast, people don’t usually feel the same pressure to complete a doorstep sweep. So set a weekly target for the number of people the local team is going to talk to. If it’s a small team, you can start with a small number – and remember that done regularly, small numbers build up to big impacts.

Got any other tips? You can post them up in the comment thread below or if you’ve got any questions that you would rather not ask in public (e.g. about the particular circumstances in your local party), please head over to the Campaigning section of our Members’ Forum and post up a message there.

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This entry was posted in Campaign Corner.
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4 Comments

  • Tom Papworth 10th Oct '11 - 1:56am

    Arrange to meet somewhere cold. A nice exposed road at the top of a hill is good. Liberal Democrats love nothing more than to stand aroud chatting about the campaign, rather than actually getting on with the door knocking. Encourage them to get on with it – perhaps with the offer of a drink and a debrief afterwards.

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