A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The word on the streets

Over on politicalbetting.com a Tory commenter has said "If we knew how the canvassing was going in places like Hackney (For Livingstone of course, but how strongly incentivised are the voters) then we would be in a much better position to judge the effect of a higher turnout."

I thought I'd report on today's canvassing in Hackney North & Stoke Newington.

We were in the northernmost polling district (IA) of Leabridge Ward. This is a good Labour PD in a ward that is usually competitive with the Greens and Tories in borough elections but has always returned three Labour councillors. It's mainly but not exclusively social housing but low rise with a lot of right-to-buy leaseholders. The ethnic mix includes large Turkish, Kurdish and West African minorities. In the second round of the 2004 Mayoral election this ward was Livingstone's 29th best in London, at 78.63% Ken, 21.37% Steve Norris.

Our returns - from 279 electors canvassed - were:

Labour - voting for Ken and Labour on GLA: 169
Ken but undecided on Assembly: 3
Ken but Green on Assembly: 2
Ken but LD on Assembly: 2
Labour but Against Ken: 1
Labour but undecided on Mayor: 1

Lib Dem, Ken as 2nd preference: 2

Green: 3
Communist: 3
Conservative: 1

Undecided: 34

Against Labour: 29

Not voting: 28

Now even allowing for over-optimistic canvassing, a large slice of the Labour support perhaps not voting and the fact this was deliberately targeted as a good area for us my reaction is:

- it's extraordinary that we only found 1 person that actually explicitly admitted to voting for Boris Johnson
- the consistency between national Labour support and voting Ken is a lot higher than at the start of the campaign when lots of Labour people were canvassing as Labour nationally but undecided on the Mayor

Now all we've got to do is persuade as many as possible of the 169 to turn out on Thursday. In think Mori have got it right - it's going to be close but Ken should narrowly win.

The other thing worth noting is the difference in the ground campaign in Hackney and other good Labour areas compared to 2004. In my CLP:

- 2004 virtually no canvassing and sporadic leafletting with many households getting no leaflets at all - as Peter Kenyon has reminded me there was a council by-election in New River ward so almost all activity was in the one ward where there was an intensive campaign
- 2008 full phone canvass of the whole constituency, plus doorstep canvass of the large estates each ward, three leaflet drops plus direct mail in Labour-held wards


Blogger Quink said...

Looks like an excellent way of letting us test the accuracy of your canvassing... I'll wager the final picture is somewhat different.

8:17 pm, April 26, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

My hunch is Johnson will get about 9,000 first preference votes in Hackney compared to the 6,600 Norris got last time - because the Tories have worked harder in Stamford Hill and De Beauvoir, plus some demographic change; and Livingstone will get about the same - 22,000 - as he did last time - increased turnout offsetting losses due to Labour's national unpopularity.

9:34 pm, April 26, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why on earth would RTB leaseholders want to support the Labour party?

You have virtually broken the rights of tenants to own the propeties they have lived in for many years.

And those that have become RTB leaseholders you have loaded up with massive debts by forcing them to pay for massive major works charges.

Some false consciousness here.

9:40 pm, April 26, 2008

Anonymous lord london fields lido said...

Lukey, are you sure you were canvassing in Hackney not Harare?

11:58 pm, April 26, 2008

Anonymous lord london fields lido said...

Incidentally, when I saw you playing down the Tories and Lib-Dems earlier in the week, I was wondering if the lack of the usual bluster was your way of signifying utter panic.

Now we've clearly identified panicking Akehurst - making up canvas statistics.

Maybe you just canvassed Labour members?

No, in fact, not even that would get that result. Even rats desert a sinking ship.

12:09 am, April 27, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny because in my part of London, which is as safe for Labour as Hackney is, Labour can't be bothered to get their fat waddling backsides out of the Council chamber to leaflet 27 houses, never mind canvass 270.

The Tories on the other hand are going hell for leather. It'll be interesting to see how the ground war is going elsewhere.

Not that it matters. The outer ring should hopefully turn out against Livingstone's nasty, hateful, divisive pigeonhole politics, and against Labour's shameful budget tricks screwing the poor just to get a good headline.

12:49 pm, April 27, 2008

Anonymous Peter Kenyon said...

Dear Luke

GLA election - no canvassing? I was the agent in Hackney North and I seem to remember we had a council by-election at the same time in New River Ward, held by the Tories. We decided to swamp it, canvass and leaflet exhaustively. Ken, Jennette Arnold and the Labour GLA and Euro candidates were not at risk in Hackney North. We secured a modest swing from the Tories compared with the 2002 elections, if not the seat. But the night was crowned with the Hackney Tory Group leader losing his list seat on the GLA.

7:23 am, April 28, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Yes you are right - but in 2004 everything was focussed in the one watd with the by-election (New River) and consequently not a lot was done in the rest of the borough.

7:40 am, April 28, 2008

Anonymous De Beaver said...

Luke are are deep in denial. Boris will bag all the sunburb voyes easily. Hackney with it's media left wing trendy types immigrants on the estates will vote Labour as it fills their pockets.
Despite De Beauvoir being full of very wealthy people they are champagne socialists

10:13 am, April 29, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I notice that you've not spotted the Rochdale result - you lost a seat to the Liberals and Tories remain utterly insignificant. But remember - this is a council where there have been some very significant issues locally about the performance of the council in several local matters. The only way they could possibly gain a seat from Labour is for the national issues to have seriously affected the Rochdale vote.

1:06 am, May 02, 2008


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