Political

How you can find the Liberal Democrat core vote locally

Sarah Olney campaigning in Richmond Park - photo copyright John Russell johnrussell zenfolio com

A few general elections back I was both working at party HQ and in, my spare time, volunteering as the data manager for a constituency campaign. At work, we had a really nice research-based segmentation of the electorate, dividing it up into different groups who could be targeted with different messages. But at home, staring at the data screens, there was no way for me to identify which voters in the constituency fell into which category. That meant there was no way for me to make our local campaigning marry up with our national activity.

Building a core vote for the Lib Dems: the 20% strategy

The lesson from that – about the need to integrate what we do locally and nationally so that each can support and amplify the other – is a consistent theme in what I’ve worked on to improve the party’s operations since. Hence my enthusiasm for a registered supporters scheme which is one that all parts of the party can use and benefit from, for example. Likewise my ideas for how to bring to life a core votes strategy by changing, and improving, how we operate as a party.

It’s why there’s also a little pdf file which is both great to see and important to have as many campaigners in local Liberal Democrat parties be aware of as possible.

I mentioned it briefly in Liberal Democrat Newswire #120; it is the Connect ‘Geek Sheet’ which sets out three standard questions which grassroots campaigners can use to identify those who share the party’s values and so are the people to target to build up a core vote for the party.

There are two benefits from using these new standard questions in local campaigning, such as by including them on resident survey forms. First, it benefits the local party directly by building up better knowledge of who to target in campaigns. Answers to these new standard questions automatically update the target pools and canvass analysis groups.

Second, it benefits all of the party by creating a bigger data set from which the party can learn more about who shares our values and how to appeal successfully to them. The more we can do that, the more effective all our activities can be.

As with the other geek sheets, it is available in the Facebook Connect Users group. It is in the files list called, “Geek Sheet – Finding the Lib Dem Core vote”.

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