Hannah Taylor, former co-chair of OULC, dispels some campaigning myths in her helpful guide to door-knocking.
I barely ever went campaigning in my first year at university. It was scary. Having never done it at home I had no idea what it would involve. I had horrible visions of being shouted at by angry people annoyed at being disturbed, or getting way out of my depth in a detailed policy question.
It’s not like that.
Here’s what happens:
- We meet up in a place or get a bus (probably later than intended).
You can claim your bus tickets back from the treasurer if you like.
- The rest of the local Labour party are surprised at just how many young people have turned up and reward us with stickers (we even got a balloon once!)
- We get split into groups with one person who knows what they’re doing as a “board runner.” You can stick with a friend at this point, and quite often OULC go together in a couple of groups.
- The board runner takes you to a street and directs you to a house, telling you who lives there and what we know about their past voting intentions (you can go with someone who knows what they are doing for as long as you want).
- You go knock on the door. If they answer, you ask them something along the lines of if they have any local issues and if they’ve decided who they’re going to vote for next time. You are not trying to persuade them, just collect the data.
- You say thank you very much and report back to the person with the clipboard, then move onto the next house.
The whole thing doesn’t take very long, just a morning usually and it’s a good change from sitting at a desk all day. One time door knocking I stroked 3 cats, the time before that, we went to Greggs together afterwards, so I do highly recommend.
Big emphasis that you can go around with a person who is experienced for as long as you want, so you can literally just go to the door with them and let them do all the talking.
If you do have any more questions about what campaigning is like, then please get in touch!