Stalls fell out of fashion for a while, but they have become more popular recently.
Portsmouth councillor Lee Hunt says “There’s nothing like a good Lib Dem stall to lift the spirits of supporters and catch the eye of others as they turn the corner into their town centre or local shopping area. Here in Portsmouth we’ve always attended city festivals and community events and popped-up in shopping areas with our big, bold yellow gazebo.”
Following last May’s elections, Portsmouth decided to be seen even more with a schedule of stalls almost every weekend in local shopping centre’s citywide. Key to the success of the stalls has been tying in a popular petition.
“Every Saturday and sometimes Sundays too we’re seen by thousands of people setting up at 9:30am and working through to 4pm,” explains Lee. We go to the main shopping areas at but equally importantly are the local shopping centres – after all people like what we do locally!”
“What we do find enormously helpful are cost-effective Roller Banners explaining what we’re doing before people get to the stall. They save a lot of time!
Local councillors turn up to the stalls in their wards but much of the work is done by other volunteers, especially those who do not canvass.
“Utilising volunteers efforts to maximum effect the Saturday Street Stalls are coordinated with local door-to-door, social media and leaflet campaigning and themes,” continues Cllr Hunt. “Especially popular is our ‘More GPs’ and ‘Stop The Sewage’ petitions and leaflets seeing thousands signing on-line, on doorsteps, returning surveys and on our stalls. People happily give email and ‘phone details because they want to hear more about what we’re doing on issues important to them. With local councillors for the area on-hand casework is often taken up and sorted there and then.”
Since May, Portsmouth have added 892 new email addresses and 122 new phone numbers via the stalls.