By Seema Chandwani
We are facing the election of our lives. If we are going to secure a Labour Government, then everyone has a role to play. Here is a list of things you can do to help us win this election:
1. Find out where your nearest marginal seat is. A marginal seat is a constituency with a really small difference between Labour and another party. For example Labour only lost Southampton Itchen by 31 votes to the Tories. But we only won Kensington by 20 votes so this is a marginal too.
Contact the local party in that area and ask if you can be added to mailing list for their campaigning updates. But remember, local parties are run by volunteers, you may wait for a response or not get one. Do some pro-active contact like following them on Twitter or Facebook to keep yourself updated.
2. Go out canvassing: Once you have found out where you are campaigning, then go out.
3. Offer to staff a street stall: If canvassing is not your thing, then offer to do a street stall. It really helps to remind people there is an election and people see Labour active does build confidence with the voter
4. Offer to leaflet: Delivering leaflets is a great alternative for those who hate canvassing, you can just put on your music and deliver away! You could also leaflet at train stations, school gates, outside colleges and universities, supermarkets and places where there are a lot of people.
5. Phone Canvassing: The local Labour party could be running these. Also see if your Trade Unions are running phone banks to contact members. There are rules to phone-banking so please check with your local party.
6. Distribute Posters: The local party may have a list of requests for posters that they need help with. But also consider taking posters to distribute with your workmates, outside universities, to your neighbours. You’d be surprised how many small shops will also take a poster for their window.
7. Admin tasks: If you are free during the day, check with the local party if they need help. There are a range of tasks from data inputting, printing, shredding, proof-reading, updating the website, responding to emails, stuff envelopes, batch leaflets.. the list is endless. There are things you can do from home too.
8. Social Media Activity: Use your own Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to promote Labour policies. Follow all of the front-bench and put them on notifications, ready to retweet or share their posts. Find articles that give a message and distribute that to your followers. If your Facebook is anything like mine, then it’s full of family, friends from school and people that are not necessarily political.
Facebook statuses is a really good space for you to write 1-2 paragraphs on why you personally are voting Labour. Your non-political friends and family need to understand that human connection.
9. Donate to Labour: If you have the money, then please donate. It does not need to be a lot, give what you can. £5 can buy a box of envelopes. Think of ways you can make money for the party, whether you can sell cupcakes at your next union branch meeting or sell those awful raffle prizes you won on eBay.
10. Decorate your window with posters: Your front window is a free advertising board, so stick up a Vote Labour poster or 10. If you live on a High Street or by a busy road, go big with a stakeboard or a whopper board. Don’t forget your back-seat car windows.
11. Write letters to your local paper: If you still have a local paper, then write letters about issues that concern you. Think local, have the Tories closed your library? Are you waiting longer for a GP appointment? People are fed-up but are putting up with things, you can inspire them that things can change.
12. Leave comments on articles and local Facebook pages: In the words of Laura Pidcock, ‘occupy every space with your politics’. Leave supportive Labour comments on local and national newspaper articles. Get involved in local debates on Facebook forums and inform people how bad the Tories and the Con-Dem coalition has been for the area.
13. Make videos on your phone: You do not have to be an amazing film maker. The more authentic videos are, the better. Whether it’s you talking on selfie-mode why you’re voting for Labour or if it taking people on a video tour of your neighbourhood showing the levels of poverty, the poster asking for foodbank donations etc. Show people what you see and what is making you certain Labour needs to be in government.
14. Take part in online polls: These are psychological and give people hope that we can do this. You can find polls on Twitter and Facebook, but newspapers and online forums also have polls.
15. Tory and Lib Dem Canvassers: If you are unfortunate to have a call or visit from canvassers, then keep them talking as much as possible. It means they are not speaking to other voters. Do not be rude, but ask a lot of questions and tell them long stories.