AS we head into the final days of this campaign, I thought I'd ask for some contributions from canvassers who have been knocking on doors the last few weeks. Here's a taster:
The experience has been a positive one, with good reactions on the doorsteps. The people of Bray have been mostly very polite - even those who clearly don't intend to vote Labour. Liz is obviously very well known and respected for the work she's done locally and nationally. In some estates you can skip from house to house with people just taking the leaflet and giving a 'thumbs-up' or a 'don't worry - Labour's got my vote this time'.
For future reference, I would suggest that 8.30 is probably late enough on a week night. We had experience of a few parents looking murderously at us or sprinting through the house to ask us not to ring the bell, as the new baby had just been put to bed. Henry and I also met a Rottweiler and a Great Dane on the same evening, but we lived to tell the tale.
For me, it's been a learning experience for a number of reasons:
- I've been able to observe the experienced 'pros' at work (Liz, John, Henry, Ann ) and learned a lot about local issues by listening to their conversations with the voters;
- I've learned that a big smile and an assertive friendly greeting disarms even the most defensive householder;
- It's been a great way for a blow-in like me to get to know the geography of the town, not to mention get ideas for landscaping my front garden!
People are sick of the to do over Bertie's money - well we knew that. Not too interested in 'issues' unless Liz is with you. If they do express an opinion it is generally favourable towards Liz and/or vicious towards FF. Other than that.......could we have the sun back please?
And, as ever, how much more rewarding it is doing the local authority estates than the posh areas - with the 'gated communities' there always seems a subtext that they don't need politics.
We canvassed the north ward of Bray and overall got a very good response. We even made one lonely old lady who has just moved to Ireland very happy – just to get a visitor! However, we were asked about same sex marriage, we answered and we were then called…murderers and the door was slammed in our faces.
1 Overall a very positive response, there is a mood for change.
2 Liz is highly respected.
3 On going water situation Rocky Valley Drive / Glencormac / Ballybawn. People very frustrated and annoyed.