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Polling Day survival guide

Is this your first polling day or are you a seasoned pro? Regardless of how many times you have campaigned before, these tips from NEC Youth Representative Jasmin Beckett will help you have a successful polling day.

How long does a polling day operation last?

Polls open at 7am and close at 10pm on polling day in the UK. However, a typical polling day can start at 6am with an ‘early morning leaflet drop’ – this is when we deliver leaflets to people’s doors so that when they wake up they are quickly reminded it is polling day.

After this the team will usually grab a quick breakfast and at around 10am we start knocking on our first doors. The purpose of polling day campaigning is to knock on the doors of people who have told us they are Labour voters, that’s why you may hear members calling it ‘get out the vote’ (GOTV).

Campaigning will then go on until around 9pm when we knock our final doors. If you are not comfortable knocking or are unable to due to an access issue just let the organiser know and they will be able to set up some phone banking (calling voters) or leafletting for you.

Also, just because we campaign from 6am – 10pm on polling day it doesn’t mean you have to stay for all of it, some members come for an hour after work and others stay for the whole thing. Do as much as you feel like.

Where shall I campaign?

Deciding where you campaign is crucial. Do you have a nearby target seat? It is so important to have Labour activists campaigning in key seats on polling day as they can be won or lost based on getting Labour voters out. Check with your CLP secretary or regional office where your local target seat is.

Can I organise campaigning on polling day?

If you run a local Young Labour group or you are a CLP youth officer, then get in touch with other young members by setting up a youth focussed Facebook campaign event or group. It’s often daunting for new members to have to turn up alone so letting them know a friendly face will be there may encourage more to come along.

However firstly search on your local party’s Facebook group or your MPs page before setting this up as you may find there is already a campaigning plan in place.

Never campaigned before?

If you are new to the #LabourDoorstep then do not fear, let the organiser know on the day and they will team you up with an experienced campaigner who will show you the ropes for your first few doors.

What should I bring?

Here are some things you may want to bring along:

-          Water

-          Sun cream (depending on the season)

-          Snacks (high energy snacks are best)

-          A backpack

What should I wear?

There are no specific requirements but wear sensible clothes to ensure you are comfortable when walking around all day.

Summer polling day:

-          Sensible shoes - like walking boots or trainers

-          A water-proof jacket (such is the British summer…)

-          An umbrella

Winter polling day:

-          Sensible shoes - like walking boots or trainers

-          Layer up, if it’s very cold wear as many layers as possible

-          A fleece

-          Hat, gloves and a scarf

-          Water-proof coat

-          An umbrella

-          Extra socks!

I hope you have found these tips useful for a successful polling day, you can share this with other young or newer members who may want to know what to expect prior to campaigning.

Now let’s get out there and win for Labour, the stakes have never been higher.





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