Elections are won and lost in the last week, so what you do in the last six days really will be vital to your chances of victory on the 2nd May. Turnout is going to be crucial.
We all know that the greater majority of undecided voters will only make up their minds how they will vote in the last week, hours, or dare we say, on the way to the Polling Station and Labour has a habit of focusing its efforts on the final 10 days!
Just keep repeating your messages louder and clearer – and make it all bigger and bolder!
IMPORTANT FACT ! ! !You cannot deliver too many pieces of paper
Remember, most people will get their Tory/Labour messages from their daily newspaper six times during the last week.
Friday 26th April –
Batch and distribute your big final weekend leaflet to deliverers.
Stuff and batch your blue letters and target mail, perhaps at a stuffing party. A good chance to touch base with others if it’s for more than one ward.
Remember to recruit helpers for polling day as you visit your deliverers and at the stuffing party.
Saturday 27th April
Last weekend leaflet
Your last weekend leaflet should be powerful and hard hitting. It should concentrate on promoting your record of action in the area.
If you make only one of your campaign leaflets an A3, if only one is to be in full colour then it should be this one – however if your budget will not stretch to this then many of these principles still apply.
Lots of photos: You should aim to use lots of action photographs showing what you have done over recent months and years.Colour
Try spot colour: Add a bit of colour to your A3 or knock up leaflet. A banner and strapline of Lib Dem orange, or a ‘Don’t forget to vote’ in blue will make the recipient take notice as it sits on their doormat.
Remember, all pieces of literature need to pass the doorstep to dustbin test. Spot colour or full colour will delay the leaflet’s journey to the bin! Even using gold paper will provide a change.
Many campaigners would see the “record of action – a promise of more” as the fundamental message in their campaign. But whatever your key messaging in an election is, getting somebody else to say it really helps.
It may be obvious but the public have little time for most politicians so information from the third parties is always going to be more powerful.
What are the sources of outside credibility?
- Statistics from national agencies
- New media – local papers as well as national
- The BBC and other broadcast media
- Celebrities !!!!
- Residents that lots of people know – eg tenants’ leaders
- Residents that represent different key groups for your ward old/young, different villages, districts or estates, families, ethnic minorities and students for instance.
- Vox-pops from these people saying that they will be voting Liberal Democrat and why, provide a strong reinforcement of the message that ordinary people are switching to the Lib Dems. You should get quotes that reinforce your main messages together with photos.
These will also work particularly well in area based target mailings mentioned later and is being widely used by Labour in this election – they call them “Endorsers” and each candidate is tasked to get them.Keeping them informed all year roundCopies of previous FOCUSes arranged on the page (a montage) that shows that you have been keeping in touch all year round.
Also, clipart of previous FOCUSes can be used to highlight the ‘lies’ of your opponents.
For example, if they say that the Liberal Democrats weren’t involved in a specific project, and you were, why not show the FOCUS story from months ago that illustrates your involvement?
Mapping your hard work
You should have kept a record of all the work you’ve done for local residents since the last election and before. Having done all this work, you should be shouting from the rafters about it. The most effective way of doing this in a FOCUS is to use a map with pointers illustrating what you have done and where it was done.
Emphasise that the Liberal Democrats are going to win on Thursday, using the two horse race, bar charts and the “The [third or fourth party] cannot win here” argument.
This will enhance your credibility and encourage wavering voters to support you.
Super Sunday 28th April
First complete the final weekend leaflet delivery.
Then try to knock up a least part of your shuttleworth (those people who we want to get out to vote) – perhaps a polling district or two on foot and/or on the phone. Used the pretext of reminding them that it’s polling day on Thursday…
You can then multi task as you go round
- Firm up your historic shuttleworth
“Cleanse” the shuttleworth of those who a. Were mis-canvassed previously
b. Will not be able to vote e.g. Dead, Moved
- Knock up your postal voters – using the line of asking whether they’ve received their postal vote ballot paper (as many have had problems in recent years).
- Get more window posters and stake boards up
- Check those already distributed are up.
- Thank helpers and ask them to help on polling day
- If you’ve distributed “small” posters or posters on leaflets. Spotting them and replace them with larger regular posters
- Use a calling leaflet to remind those who are out of these things plus usual calling leaflet messages.
- Gather email, landline and mobile numbers for as many as possible to aid our knock up operations.
- Organise around those who have problems on polling day eg lifts.
- You could add to your shuttleworth key groups to talk to as you go round eg, soft supporters of third parties to squeeze, depending on your resources and circumstances.
Monday 29th April
Personal, targeted letters can be a very effective way of communicating with people.
Four types of personalised target letters for the final few days. For those of you with larger areas to cover consider posting letters to the areas you know you won’t be able to reach or have missed on the way round. You need to make the decision to post or not to post on Monday to give the Royal mail a chance to deliver them on time. Don’t overestimate the resiliance of delievers, err on the side of caution and post.
These are printed in blue ink, sometimes on blue or cream paper, and can look like a hand-written note from the candidate and are commonly known as “blue ink letters”.
Addressed letters such as these should ideally be delivered within 3/4 days of polling day as there is some evidence that their effect starts to “wear off” after a longer time.
Make sure you send letters to the identified 3rd, 4th and 5th party support in your area reminding them that its a two horse race etc, and asking them to lend you their support to keep……..out.
The tactical message can also be reinforced by delivering special leaflets to areas where a lot of third party supporters are likely to live (eg a council estate in a Lib Dem/Tory marginal ward). ALDC Squeeze leaflets here .
Area letters can have a major impact. By dividing a ward up into a number of smaller geographical areas it is possible to address the letter to very local issues and explain the action which you have taken about each of them. To have the maximum effect each letter should be personally ‘topped and tailed’ in envelopes addressed using the electoral register. The letters could include petitions and or grumble sheets to be brought to Lib Dem supporters at the polling station.
Particularly effective here are letters ostensibly from local residents rather than the “politicians” – see endorsements above.
A letter to your supporters
The more material our own supporters get the better. Something to hammer home the campaign theme. Something to get our own supporters out, also a good point to rebut any last minute smears from the opposition.Tuesday 30th April
Finishing off the target mail from Monday.
- Shuttleworth firming (see Sunday)
- Final Voter ID in good areas for us to maximise the shuttleworth
- Test canvass key groups on the phone to see if its worth adding them to the shuttleworth
- POSTERS give an impression of increasing support, “Big Mo” as the Americans call it. So double up on good sites – especially main roads, corner plots and near polling stations.
- Post (with stamps if you’ve got the leeway in your expenses) final squeeze letters to 3rd, 4th and 5th party supporters.
Wednesday 1st May – Eve of Poll Eve of Poll leaflets (and Good Morning leaflets) aim to get you the last word in an election, again these should repeat your main campaign messages.
A very effective way of running a campaign and turning support for you on a particular issue into votes in the ballot box can be the “bring it with you when you vote petition”.
You can, of course, only do this where you have tellers at all the polling stations. If you are only telling at some polling stations then you may only be able to organise polling day petitions within those districts.
Petitions can be either ward-wide or specific to particular areas, or you can do ward wide petitions and some for particular areas.
A common style often used for these leaflets has been headed ‘Three Things You Can Do Tomorrow’ for a leaflet with three petitions on. If this is a ward wide leaflet, then the petitions, should, of course, be about the three most important issues across the whole ward. If you are doing different editions, then you need the three issues most relevant in each area.
The petitions can be very useful as part of your campaign to get things done about specific issues. The key to their success is to be able to base the campaign and petition on something about which people feel very strongly.
Prepare your committee rooms and distribute the tellers packs to your 7am tellers.
Wider Strategy and targeting
Concentrate on your target wards and be a team player! The important thing is how many seats we win – not stacking up 1,000 vote majorities in one division and narrowly losing the one next door.
If you are asked to go and help in a neighbouring ward then be willing to go – it could make the difference between winning or losing.
Materials up to polling DayLast weekend leafletsAll Conservative squeeze materialsAll Labour squeeze materialsBlue LettersPolling DayEve of Poll2012 Good Mornings Old Goods Mornings2012 Knock ups Old Knock Ups