It’s the final stretch of the council elections! We’ll be busy in both Coventry and Leamington with campaigning sessions everyday. It’s an exciting time for Labour lefties – we’ve got some Warwick Labour alumni running, we’re forecast some lovely weather, and there’s plenty of potential Labour voters to go have a chat with on the doorstep!
Whether you’re a seasoned campaigner, or a complete newbie – campaigning can seem scary, and we’ll all need some tips n tricks at some point. Knocking on someone’s door is – understandably – a very scary prospect! But I promise it’s a lot easier (and less scary) when you’re out there. So, I thought it’d be worthwhile clearing up some common queries and hesitations!
Why do we knock doors, and which doors do we knock?
We only knock doors of people on the voting register, whereby they’ve given permission for their info to be shared with political parties – so we don’t just go around knocking random doors! The purpose, in essence, is to have a chat. Do they have any local concerns? Do they usually vote? … “if you don’t mind me asking, who do you usually vote for?”. People are often more forthcoming than you’d expect – and often they’ll share with you who they’re considering voting for. This data then helps us on polling day – the friendliest day to campaign! We’ll generally only be knocking on Labour doors, encouraging (or reminding!) them to go vote.
Will I be alone?
You never have to campaign alone: you always go around in a group, and you’ll never be expected to go to a house alone if you’re not comfortable with it. If it’s your first time, you’ll always be paired with a seasoned campaigner, and you can stay paired with someone for as long as you like – whether it’s your first time campaigning, or your 20th time!
Do I have to be a policy expert?
This is a common hesitation that stops people campaigning – you don’t feel like you know enough to answer questions from voters. But don’t worry – people very rarely ever ask questions or give responses that require a heap of policy knowledge. And if the voter does have a super specific concern, you can always ask the candidate to have a chat to them instead.
Are people rude?
It’s so, so rare that people are rude or confrontational – not every house you go to will be a Labour household, but most houses will be really friendly. If they’re not comfortable answering your questions, they’ll just say “sorry, I don’t want to share that information”, or just say they’re not interested. In the rare event that someone is rude or confrontational, there’s always another campaigner near-by to help resolve the situation.
Really, the reality of campaigning it a lot of unanswered doors. But when they do answer, I say “Hi, I’m Carys, just calling on behalf of candidate’s name, your local Labour candidate. Just wondering if you’re voting on Thursday?” then if they say yes, I’ll say “could I ask, will you be voting for candidate’s name? If you’d rather not say or you’re voting for someone else, it’s perfectly fine!” and then they’ll either say Labour, rather not say, or they’re voting against. So even when it’s not a Labour household, people aren’t rude or confrontational – you just say alright, thanks anyway! And then move on to the next house.
I hope that’s cleared a few things up! Most people find the worst part of campaigning is the prospect of doing it – once you’re actually out there on the doorstep, most find it’s a lot less stressful and intimidating than they initially anticipated.
Campaigning can be really fun when you get into it – it’s a great opportunity to meet and socialise with other Labour friends, get a break from revision, and do something productive for the cause! Plus…campaigning usually ends in a Spoons bev or lemonade, so what’s not to love?
If you’ve got any questions or hesitations, you’re always welcome to message me.
See you on the doorstep!
Carys – your External Campaigns Officer