It is a naff phrase but we call it knocking up. The process of getting your vote out. Not many voters know how the politicos work. Canvassing is the process of asking people how they will vote and recording their responses. In passing you may chat to voters about the issues, try to get your point across and listen to their issues but the bottom line is you want to find out how they will vote. The canvas returns tell you who your “pledges” are, ie those people who have promised to vote for you. Having canvassed for a week or two before the elections you spend election day knocking up. In other words you go round all your pledges and remind them to get to the polls. Our team of four started at 8.30am and went through to 7.30pm with a short break for a late lunch at the Plough in Northfields Avenue.
Most of the pledges I talked to had voted or intended to vote. Some women were waiting for the their husbands to come home before they went together. One lady was organising a BBQ so it looked like she would not get out. I met one family coming out the door for an evening stroll to the polls. A few people did not realise you get three votes, one for each councillor vacancy. One Polish guy I talked to was worried about having made a tick rather than a cross – that is fine as long as your intentions are clear. He also pointed out that he had only ticked one box. Uh oh! Two wasted votes.
My opposite number in the Labour group, Simon Woodroofe, and I are both a little worried about being low in the alphabet. We have one odd Green standing so if too many people vote one Green and two Tory or Labour we might drop off the bottom. Doubt it though. I have only met a very small number of female Green voters. No men.
I met two of the Labour group mid afternoon. It looked like they were just starting. Too late guys. My prediction is that Northfield will be Conservative tomorrow.