Does canvassing work?

Interesting data from last weekend’s Elections, Parties and Opinion Polls (EPOP) conference in Cardiff.

This slide shows the conclusions from field experiments in Southampton Itchen carried out with the Labour campaign ahead of the 2015 general election by Florian Foos:

Florian Foos's research into impact of canvassing for Labour in Southampton Itchen

Within the second bullet point there was also a slightly bigger impact for canvassing by the candidate herself than for canvassing by other Labour helpers.

One thing we don’t know is how quickly, or not, the boost to party support from canvassing wears off or gets cancelled about by activity from other parties. Even so, this looks promising evidence that high quality doorstep conversations make an impact and which adds to the more anecdotal evidence¬†as well as the evidence about turnout.

You can read the other posts in the What do the academics say? series here.

One response to “Does canvassing work?”

  1. When I’ve had a particularly pleasant chat with someone on their doorstep I sometimes say ‘Some people leave a mark. I leave a scar!’ Then they laugh, but I’m sure they never forget meeting me and go out and vote for us (or me, if I’m a candidate). It means that I am remembered (with a smile) but if they never get canvassed again (because they’re not at home the next time someone calls) the chances that they’ll remember that they were and stick with us.

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