How canvassing and canvassers work

Fergus Cassidy has a great piece on how the canvassers do way more than put a leaflet in your door. I must say most of this was new to me but it makes complete sense. Well worth reading. Look forward to part 2.

2 Responses to “How canvassing and canvassers work”

  1. tipster says:

    I have 20 years experience of canvassing (and am gnashing my itchy teeth because my most recent change of job means I can’t get out in this election) and it is very rarely as scientific or systematic as Fergus Cassidy says. If a party has only one candidate in a constituency, their team will probably have enough work covering the territory once; if there are two or more candidates, you can typically expect that little love will be lost between them, so sharing of information from canvasses that will allow party HQ to see where the DKs to be further pursed isn’t going to happen often.

    What HQs for the three larger parties will sometimes do, but only in selected constitutencies where there is a known and tight chance of either losing or gaining a seat, is commission research by professionals from outside the constituency (and often outside the party) to see if specific areas or issues need particular focus. But those guys are not canvassers, and won’t be mistaken for one.

    One thing I expect to see in Fergus’s follow-up is a description of the tactics adopted by undercover party loyalists who are not out when the candidate from another party calls: ask a question about a local issue and try to engage them in conversation for as long as possible to reduce the number of other voters who get to meet them.

  2. Tom Raftery says:

    Having also taken part in many canvasses in the past, I too was never on one as well organised or thought out as Fergus describes. Mind you it has been many years now since I have canvassed so things could have changed.

    In this election, curiously, I haven’t had one canvasser ring the door. All they are doing here is leaflet drops.