The West Berks Labour team and our fantastic supporters from across Reading and beyond, have been making good progress with our local canvassing. We have been heading out twice a week in an effort to give every resident in our wards a chance to talk face to face with their local Labour team from the comfort of their own doorstep. If we stick to the devised schedule, this project will take 2 years, but of course sometimes we have more helpers and get more door’s knocked than that.
The other reason to undertake this mammoth task is to ensure that our data is as up to date as possible. Knowing which households vote for which party allows us to get a good idea of which areas to target in local elections to make sure we get some Labour representation for residents on West Berkshire Council (currently 48 Tories and 4 Lib Dems in total!). This information also tells us which voters are undecided on how they would vote if another snap general election was called, and which are Labour supporters.
Those identified Labour supporters receive special letters from us letting them know who their candidate is and checking if they need help to get to polling stations or with applying for a postal vote.
We have been having some very positive results on the doorstep this summer, in areas which previously were not very supportive of Labour. We are meeting people who were Tory voters who are now Labour voters and these people seem to significantly outnumber the voters changing their minds in the other direction. In our canvassing session last weekend, the team I was with spoke to 80 people in total, 40 of whom are now Labour supporters.
I joined the party less than two years ago, and originally thought that canvassing sounded a terrifying task, but I quickly found that most of the people we meet are interesting and/or lovely and it can be a lot of fun!