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Getting enough votes to win

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Getting Enough Votes To Win …

Getting Enough Votes To Win
Hamish I. Marshall
Conservative Party of Canada
Political Training Conference
March 15-18, 2007

Published in: News & Politics

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  • The trouble with polling is that while it is exciting and interesting it often obscures the real story. Look at this graph, the blue party is ahead – that’s good for them. But how good and is it good enough? Are they doing well with the groups they need? In the areas they need?
  • If you are in a core riding, us being one point ahead is great, you will win. Heck it we are ten points down you will probably win. If you are in a no hope riding, the answer is just as sure. But if you are in a swing seat, 1 point could make all the difference, it all depends where the vote is!
  • There are two basic types of results map. This is one – the straight winner – who got the most votes in each poll!
  • The other type which is harder to make but shows the relative strength of each party in the polls they won
  • Or really complicated stuff like this. Which shows the our ID who had voted by 6pm as percentage of the vote we got in the end.
  • Use West Van examples
  • Explain PxP demos are really hard to make, and you will never get 100%. A lot of bad quality stuff out there, watch out. If you want them, talk to me, but watch out
  • Demographics – do some of the patterns you observed fit with demographics Income Family Structure Age Education levels Fit won’t be exact – but does hold information
  • If you do have one and some pretty sophisticated software you can do things like this…
  • Or may demographic groups onto satellite maps… which is fun, but ultimately not that useful
  • Because most of you are running campaigns in regional centres or the suburbs, there is another great tool at your disposal
  • Look at MLS, go drive around, take the time. You will get a very good idea of the sort of people that live in an area by their houses.
  • Let’s look at LNC as an example of what to do
  • Work out the vote goals for each neighbourhood. Remember your plan. When working out vote goals there are a few rules to remember…
  • Turnout is linked to income, age and education.
  • You end up with something like this, a list of polls, with neighbourhoods, past results and vote goals
  • It would appear at first that the most important target polls are the ones with the highest vote goal
  • Actually it is the gap between the goal and current id, that makes them targets
  • So despite poll 3 having a target nearly 40 votes more than poll 8, they have same priority.
  • Whereas poll 5, with a pretty high vote goal is low priority, because the gap is so small.
  • So the Liberals did this in the last election, knowing that no one who was pro-life was on the fence with them. They needed more women in the suburbs and they got them, this helped hold us to a minority
  • Implementing the plan requires keeping in mind the real enemy.
  • David Young story So when your candidate comes to you and proposes a wild new plan. Like “I think we should reach out to green voters, or scandanavians, or left handed welfare fathers,” remember:
  • Transcript

    • 1. Getting Enough Votes to Win Hamish I. Marshall
    • 2. About Me
    • 3. Agenda
      • “ One more than the other guy” and other lies
        • How many votes do you need to win?
      • Reconnaissance
        • Researching your riding
      • The politics of division
        • Identifying a winning coalition
      • “ Stay on Target” and the real enemy
        • Getting the votes you need to win
    • 4. “ One more than the other guy” and other lies How many votes do you need to win?
    • 5.  
    • 6. He’s got his, you’d better get yours…
      • Which 46%?
      • Where do you find them?
      • Is 46% even the right number?
      • How do you figure out the right number?
    • 7. The Trouble with Polling
    • 8. The Trouble with Polling
      • Is this good?
      • Being ahead is always good
      • But is it good enough for your riding?
    • 9. How many votes do you need
      • There is a right answer
      • The “other guy” +1
    • 10. Vote Goals
      • How many votes to win?
      • Things to look at:
        • Traditional support of parties
        • Turnout
      • Every plan needs a vote goal
    • 11. West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast – Sea to Sky Country
    • 12. West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast – Sea to Sky Country 0.2% 145 Other 68.3% List: 93,360 Turnout 6.2% 3,966 Green 20.1% 12,766 NDP 37.5% 23,867 Liberal 36.0% 22,891 Conservative Percentage Votes Party
    • 13. West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast – Sea to Sky Country
      • Expect the list to grow: Say 94,000
      • Conservatives win with higher turnout
      • So assume 70%
      • That means 65,800 votes will be cast
    • 14. West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast – Sea to Sky Country
      • Who is the main competition?
      • The Liberals.
      • What is the minimum for each smaller party?
        • NDP – 15%
        • Green – 5.5%
      • That leaves: 79.5%
      • So to win we need: 79.5% / 2 = 39.8%
    • 15.
      • 65,800 voters
      • Need 39.8%
      • So we need: 26,188 votes
      • Round up to 26,250
      West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast – Sea to Sky Country
    • 16. Reconnaissance Researching your riding
    • 17. Types of Research
      • Local Election Results Analysis
      • Demographics and the MLS
      • Neighbourhoods
    • 18. What is Local Election Results Analysis
      • We examine:
        • Past Results
        • Changing support for different parties
        • Results for elections of different levels of government
    • 19. Why do Local Election Results Analysis
      • The same reason you do anything in elections: To Win
      • You should do it if:
        • You LOST last time – it will show you what happened and maybe a strategy to win the next time
        • You WON last time – you need to know why you won, and how to do it again!
    • 20. Why do Local Election Results Analysis
      • It can show where you are strong and weak.
      • Understand exactly what you have to do to get more votes next time.
      • Anticipate the strategy of other parties.
    • 21. The best way to understand…
      • Is to map…
      • Results
      • Trends
      • Turnout
    • 22.  
    • 23.  
    • 24.  
    • 25.  
    • 26.  
    • 27. Why we look at the numbers
      • Because the conventional wisdom is usually wrong
      • What people “know,” especially journalists reflects their biases and hopes not the facts
      • When you KNOW what happened, you can plan to win next time
    • 28. Demographics and the MLS
      • Poll by Poll demographics do exist
      • The trouble is they look like this…
    • 29. Demographics
      • Without context demographics are worse than useless, they are confusing
      • There is no holy grail demographic that will point your way to victory.
      • Unless you have a statistician on staff…
    • 30.  
    • 31.  
    • 32. The MLS Regional Centres Suburbs
    • 33.  
    • 34. Neighbourhood profiles
    • 35. What should I look for?
      • Middle Class – with kids, close to schools
      • Older Neighbourhoods with lot of Seniors
      • The “Respectable” Lower Middle Class
      • First time homeowners
    • 36. The Politics of Division Identifying a winning coalition
    • 37. Four key groups Mainstream Families Younger Men Empty Nesters Retired Women
    • 38. Targets
      • These are the people you need
      • These are the people you must communicate with
        • At the doors
        • On the phones
        • By mail
        • With literature
    • 39. Need to gain from Libs And keep turnout up Find the Conservatives and drive up turnout (low Green appeal) Hold our own Keep turnout low Suburbs and Seniors The Battleground Lower Middle Class and Worse “The Secret Weapon” Well Off Elites “No fly zone”
    • 40. Write out your coalition
      • In the previous example the coalition was:
        • Suburban home owners, especially parents
        • Seniors
        • Lower middle class, get them out to vote
      • Keep it broad, otherwise it never adds up
    • 41. More Vote Goals
      • Now you know your general plan AND how many votes you need to win.
      • Need poll by poll vote goals
      • Step 1: Neighbourhoods
      • Step 2: Neighbourhood vote goals
      • Step 3: Divide by polls
    • 42. STEP 1
    • 43. STEP 2 1101 votes 266 votes 492 votes 723 votes 174 votes 842 votes 476 votes 1335 votes 714 votes 776 votes 1005 votes 903 votes 975 votes 674 votes 1284 votes 923 votes 774 votes 265 votes 790 votes 106 votes 1242 votes
    • 44. Lessons and Approaches
      • Higher Turnout works for Conservatives
      • Go where the votes are
      • Talk to those you need, ignore everyone else
      • Two approaches to getting more votes
        • Look at polls and then where target groups live
        • Look at likely polls and who lives there
    • 45. Poll by Poll
      • Assign votes within each neighbourhood based on the proportion of Conservative votes there last time
      • Take into account local factors
      • Some polls may have a smaller goal than you got last time
    • 46. Poll by Poll
    • 47. From vote goals to targets
      • So now you know what you need in every poll.
      • So what?
        • Where do you doorknock?
        • Where do you phone?
        • Where do you send literature?
    • 48. Your voter ID Look at current supporters
    • 49. Gap targeting 27 80 107 9 60 28 88 8 31 19 48 7 44 28 72 6 5 86 91 5 26 122 148 4 60 64 124 3 12 84 96 2 29 51 80 1 Gap Current Support Vote Goal Poll
    • 50. Gap targeting 27 80 107 9 60 28 88 8 31 19 48 7 44 28 72 6 5 86 91 5 26 122 148 4 60 64 124 3 12 84 96 2 29 51 80 1 Gap Current Support Vote Goal Poll
    • 51. Gap targeting 27 80 107 9 60 28 88 8 31 19 48 7 44 28 72 6 5 86 91 5 26 122 148 4 60 64 124 3 12 84 96 2 29 51 80 1 Gap Current Support Vote Goal Poll
    • 52. Gap targeting 27 80 107 9 60 28 88 8 31 19 48 7 44 28 72 6 5 86 91 5 26 122 148 4 60 64 124 3 12 84 96 2 29 51 80 1 Gap Current Support Vote Goal Poll
    • 53. Gap targeting 27 80 107 9 60 28 88 8 31 19 48 7 44 28 72 6 5 86 91 5 26 122 148 4 60 64 124 3 12 84 96 2 29 51 80 1 Gap Current Support Vote Goal Poll
    • 54. Targets
      • Sort your polls by the gap
      • The polls with the biggest gap are where you
        • Phone
        • Doorknock
        • Use the candidate
        • Send some literature
      • Re-order your targets every three or four days
    • 55. Persuasion
      • Q. How do you find the undecideds?
      • A. From your voter ID
      • Do special canvass with the candidate in those polls with high vote goals of just the undecideds
    • 56. Literature and Ads
      • Identify issues for the top target groups
      • Send it to where they live
      • To better target hit those polls where you need it most – big gaps and big vote goals
      • Do NOT buy newspaper ads
    • 57. Ignoring People
      • Because you know who you need, you know who to ignore
      • This means that be strategically divisive or “controversial” is a good plan
      • Do it carefully, but if you know your coalition it can be very effective
    • 58.  
    • 59. “ Stay on Target” and the real enemy Getting the votes you need to win
    • 60. The story so far
      • You know the number of votes to win
      • You know the types of people you care about
      • You know where to canvass, phone and send literature
      • Now all you have to do, is actually do it!
    • 61. The real enemy
    • 62. A word on Candidates
      • You have a good plan, stick to it!
      • Candidates like people, you don’t have to
      • Candidates will try and get you to change your plan, because someone “told” them
      • They are susceptible to the slightest criticism
    • 63.  
    • 64. Stay on Target
      • That doesn’t mean be rigid
      • You have to be flexible, your vote goals will change
      • Listen to what is happening and watch the national numbers and what HQ is saying
      • But don’t change at a whim
    • 65. Conclusion
      • Figure out how many votes you need to win
      • Research your riding – who lives there?
      • Identify which groups you need and where they live
      • Communicate with them
      • Stay on target
    • 66. Questions
      • If you have further questions, comments or abuse, send me an email:
      • [email_address]