Cllr Steve Pitt, Chair of Portsmouth Campaign Committee, said: “We wanted to see what the view was amongst remain supporters. The response has been beyond our expectation.”
Gerald Vernon Jackson, Lib Dem Group Leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: “My initial thought was that we should send this to people that Connect identified as remainers, but also to whole roads where I thought there’d be a large number of remainers. I was persuaded that this topic is really important to people in both a positive and negative way, so we should target it.”
Connect target pools used
The team produced a list of 9,271 households across the city. 1,000 of these were from referendum canvass data, the rest from the groups Connect identified in target pools.
It was mail-merged, enveloped and either hand delivered or posted. No door-knocking was done. The return rate has been good and, with some returns still coming in, it is nudging 6%.
“One of the most effective mailings”
Steve continued: “We gained email addresses, poster sites, members and activists. Many of these are in areas where we aren’t strong and is helping us to rebuild the party for the future. It is one of the most effective mailings we have done.”
“One of the really clear things to come out is that we have gained a lot of new data,” says Gerald. “Many of these were from people we had not got face-to-face or telephone canvass data from, so a new group of people.”
“The other thing was that there were some UKIP supporters who returned it, but with no abuse, all very polite.”
There was also a significant response from European voters. The data will allow the Portsmouth team to continue to build the relationship with voters for whom this is a vital issue, even in wards which voted overwhelmingly to leave the EU.