This is a re-hash of something we posted a couple of years ago which is still relevant today.
Over the next six weeks the Abbey Ward Labour election team will be attempting to knock on every door in the Ward to contact residents in advance of the local elections. This is an attempt to answer some of your questions about why we do this.
What if I don’t have time in the early evening to argue about politics on the doorstep?
We understand that, and neither do we. We are not trying to persuade people to vote Labour, although naturally we hope they do. We will happily take up issues people raise on the doorstep, but with over 5,000 homes to contact we won't take up your time to enter into lengthy political discussion. Also, with an annual turnover of around 10% of the electorate, it gives us an opportunity to introduce ourselves to new residents, and to inform them about our surgeries, the e-bulletin… and this blog!
Surely how we vote is private and it is a secret ballot. So why are you asking?
True, it is a secret ballot and you are not obliged to tell anyone how you intend to cast your vote. In actual fact, what we are really trying to identify is whether the occupants are likely to be supporting Labour on 22nd May.
Because on election day we want to try to maximise the Labour vote. If as a result of our canvassing we can identify people who pledge their support to our candidate, we will try to remind them early evening on polling day if we think they may not have voted.
Who has access to our canvass information?
Our information about voting intention is not shared with anyone else. The information is only used at election time and solely in connection with the election itself. Councillors are elected to represent all residents of their Ward, irrespective of who they vote for and it would be quite improper to do anything other than that. The information about who voted and who didn’t is a matter of public record anyway, but not how they cast their vote.
Why do we only hear from you at election time?
That isn’t strictly true as far as our councillors are concerned. Throughout the year we have a programme of rolling street surgeries where we deliver a card to around 1,000 homes in midweek, and we then call at the weekend to anyone displaying the card in their window. In addition we hold a weekly advice surgery at Thimblemill Baths, every Thursday evening, all year round. Also, in addition to this blog, we produce a monthly e-bulletin, we do the rolling street surgeries, attend residents group meetings and neighbourhood forums, and deal with literally hundreds of enquiries via e-mails, phone calls, letters and personal visits every year.
If you would like to help out with our campaign to re-elect Bob Piper by delivering leaflets, displaying a poster, of helping out at a polling station on election day, contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.