Top Tips and Some common problem areas (and how to deal with them!)People with detailed policy questions. 
It is best to leave these to the candidate or PPC.  People who ask detailed questions about say our views on the decline of the Merchant Navy fleet will usually be much more knowledgeable than the canvasser.  If it is a genuine interest they will not be expecting a detailed answer there and then.A question about something local you should know the answer to but don’t! 
Again don’t worry about referring this to another person to look up.  Most people will accept an honest “don’t know but I’ll get someone to find out for you” as an answer.  The crucial thing is to ensure that they get a reply reasonably quickly!  Wherever possible a canvasser should try to get a phone number and email for someone so they can be contacted in the most suitable way.The seriously floating voters.
These are a growing group of people who are very hard to categorise.  A number of people have voted all 3 of Lab, Con and Lib Dem in recent years (and may well also have given votes to the Greens or UKIP).   Generally if people are inclined to support us they will usually indicate that.  Phrases like “it’s between the three of you” are likely to mean not us this time.  If that is the case then they are anti, if they are really an undecided then leave blank if you can’t categorise.Opposition supporters
Generally most aren’t rude but might try to waste your time.  Escape as rapidly as possible – a good excuse is to say you are with someone else and they are waiting for you.  If someone is particularly rude and/or abusive to you then canvassers shouldn’t have any qualms about moving on to the next house!Talkers – you might be the first person someone has had to talk to in a few days – and they are keen to chat.  Again escape quickly, but politely as above!The deeply illiberal voter
Generally these would be people with either highly racist or virulently anti-European views.  They are pretty unlikely to ever vote for us so spending time in a lengthy debate is unlikely to achieve much.  Move on to the next house. Early starts – don’t wait
Try and set regular meetings times  and tell all possible helpers. If you’re the candidate or agent if you’re coming from work try and go straight out before changing or eating tea.  – You’ll get a lot more done. Inexperienced Canvassers
Help new and inexperienced canvassers – don’t leave them to fend for themselves. Monitor their technique. See below.Localised  Instructions
Localise your canvass instructions with some clear local messages/prompt lines e.g.
“The Tories have not won a council seat here for 8 years – it’s a straight fight between us and Labour”Use  Telephone Canvassing
    •    No hills
    •    No rain
    •    No dogs
    •    No entry-phones
    •    No distance
Telephone canvassing is becoming increasingly important in modern elections. Unlike door-to-door canvassing it can take place whatever the weather and can be quicker, especially in more spread out areas. Also many supporters may not be able to go door-to-door canvassing, especially the elderly, but are more than willing to do telephone canvassing.
Also unlike door-to-door canvassing, telephone canvassing allows you to target particular groups. Such as ethnic minorities or the elderly. However telephone canvassing is not a replacement for traditional canvassingThe Canvass Card
The secret to gaining useful and reliable canvass information is understanding exactly what the different sections on the canvass card mean. These are very often misunderstood.
See later articles on how to design your canvass card to suit your election and what’s on a standard EARS canvass card and what it means.Security
A note of caution. Even in the safest areas it is better not to go canvassing by yourself.  At the very least make sure that someone knows where you are going and when you are due back and if someone disappears for any length of time then find out where they have gone.
You should never go into someone’s house – firstly and most importantly for reasons of safety (and men, as well as women are at risk of possible attack) and secondly if you are fighting a campaign then you haven’t got time for a cup of tea and a long chat with someone – who is probably a Tory activist trying to waste your time.
If someone has a serious problem that needs discussing then explain that you haven’t got time this evening but arrange a time to come back and discuss it later (and keep the appointment!).
Finally it is always sensible to carry your mobile phone and keep it turned on if other people you are canvassing with get lost or lose you!

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