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
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