There is a misconception among some people in politics that ‘door knocking’ is a chore.
This is mostly because the ‘conversation’ techniques that have commonly been used in the Labour Party have involved not having a conversation at all but simply asking people about their voting preference (voter identification (id)).
Voter id is certainly a useful tool in the last few weeks of an election campaign when we need to find out where are voters are, but it does nothing to increase our vote.
If we are simply interested in identifying our vote (and remember we last the last two general elections), then we will inevitably lose election after election. So, to coin the phrase of Danielle Grufferty’s ‘satirical’ CorbynSuperfan, voter id is ‘Horseshit’.
However, having a real conversation with people and asking people about their opinions is a great way to show we are listening and not just there for electioneering.
In the new year, I was out doorknocking in my ward and I found that just asking people what their concerns were and actually listening to them was not only good for them (as they felt someone was interested), but it also gave me an insight into what issues are of interest and how Labour locally could frame policies.
I was invited into two houses for a cup of tea just for having this kind of conversation. I was also asked for information about how to get involved in local politics.
Having genuine conversations can be a great way of recruiting more supporters into the party and, they in turn, can inspire more people to do so.
My suggestion to all Labour supporters is to participate in door knocking when they can and to make sure that they don’t just get drawn into the ‘voter id’ conversation. If we actually engage with people a bit deeper and listen to them then door knocking is fantastic.