More leaflets = more votes!
I first heard this irritating but accurate one-liner from Gavin Barwell, when he was Campaign Director at CCHQ. My colleague, Chris Scott, also recites the mantra, as do I. Now I have proof.
Over the last few days, along with my 'resident statistician' Dr John Hayward, we have been number crunching the Kent and SE Regional voting figures from 2 May - and particularly within the three constituencies where I am agent. We have charted and cross referenced votes by Division over the last four years, and cross tabulated them against individual ward / divisional and candidate's campaign actions.
Without divulging specifics I can now say that "More Leaflets = More Votes" is true (not that I personally ever doubted it).
Over the 14 County Council Divisions where I was agent, there is a direct and clear correlation between the number of 'points of contact' with an elector and the size of the swing. I have always been frustrated at candidates who claim "it makes no difference", or whenever I hear the tired words "if we do too much it will irritate people". Almost always those making such comments haven't knocked on a door or delivered a leaflet for a decade!
What is absolutely clear is despite the national tide in UKIPs favour and a number of issues testing the loyalty of the traditional wing of the Conservative Party; where a local candidate had a high profile doorstep based campaign, they were easily able to see off the threat.
By way of example; in our three top performing Divisions, the Conservative vote share (%) fell by less that 5% (and this is compared with 2009, which was a record year for us). In our worst three Divisions, the Conservative share fell by more than 15%. And can I share something else ? In the top tranche, our local teams had 3 x the number of contacts with voters as the bottom tranche.
So next time you hear a laissez faire candidate or branch Chairman claim "campaigning makes no difference" - tell them they are wrong!