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Where are the party activists – particularly Labour ones?

May 20th, 2009

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Who is going to get the vote out a fortnight tomorrow?

The following is entirely unscientific based entirely on anecdote from party workers I’ve spoken to in various parts of England. The message I’m getting is that there is very little evidence of election activity on the ground with Labour appearing to have the most problems.

All the main parties are finding it a challenge in motivating their activists but those in Brown’s party seems to be the most reluctant. This is evidenced by few leaflets being got out, not much evidence of active canvassing and very little presence.

With two weeks to go you would expect something of a build-up, particularly in those areas where there will be simultaneous local elections alongside the European parliament vote. But that doesn’t seem to be happening.

Canvassing is said to be quite tough even amongst those people the party machines know are their own supporters. I’ve had several reports of the emphasis now being put on leaflets rather than face to face contact.

The problem, of course, is the widespread revulsion to what’s been coming out in the Daily Telegraph on MPs expenses. Party members appear less willing to help while voters, in many cases, simply don’t want to know.

This could have a big impact on overall turnout on June 4th across the UK. In June 2004 the Euro elections saw more than 38% of electors take part. One senior party strategist I spoke to thinks this could be down as low as 25% in those areas without local elections.

What’s the experience of PBers? How are things going in your area? Contribution from regulars and “lurkers” are most welcome.

Mike Smithson






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