Thank you for offering to make some calls for the Liberal Democrats! Before you get started, here are some handy tips and tricks...
Before the Call
- Always smile. A smile can be heard in your voice.
Check if there is more than one person in the household - their names will appear in the boxes marked: "Additional members of the household"
- Before you start phoning, click on each person in the household, to check to the age and gender of the people living there. This will give you an idea of who you might be speaking to as soon as someone answers the phone.
- If there is no answer, click on "no" against "Were you able to speak to … ", and tick the appropriate box. Please note that you need to record "Not at Home" or "Left message" or "Moved" against EACH member of the household.
Starting the Call
- If someone does answer, establish as soon as possible who you are talking to, ie "Is that Joseph Brown?" Once established, click on the person's name on the screen. If the person who answers isn't listed as being part of the household, ask to speak to one of the listed members of the household.
Introduce yourself - e.g. "I'm calling on behalf of Jo Swinson (pause). Jo Swinson is Leader of the Liberal Democrats, and is running to keep her seat as MP for East Dunbartonshire”
DON'T ask if they have time to talk, as it encourages the answer "no". And don’t be apologetic – you are engaging people in the democratic process! Instead, just carry on to ask the questions that appear in the script.
- Our current calling is not about trying to find out which way they vote primarily. It is about trying to have a conversation about what Liberal values are and establishing whether they share our values. Use the questions as a starting point for a conversation.
- If the person is impatient and wanting to terminate the conversation, try to at least get their voting intention. Say: "Very briefly, can I just ask who you would vote for if there was an election tomorrow ?", or "Very briefly, can I just ask who you usually vote for ?".
- In terms of voting intention:
a) Please note that "Soft Labour" means they will EITHER vote Lib Dem OR Labour. Likewise "Soft Con" is either Lib Dem or Conservative, etc.
b) "Not Lib Dem" is if they won't vote Lib Dem, but you can't establish which party they would vote for.
c) "Won't Say" is where someone says they don't ever discuss how they will vote - "that's between me and the ballot box" etc. Also use "Won't say" if you have tried to establish who they would vote for, and they say they are undecided, despite your probing.
d) Try to record what they say accurately without being over optimistic. If they express a preference for another party, then follow up with the “Consider Lib Dem?” question to indicate if they are a prospect for the future.
- Try to probe voting intention if the person is vague, or says they "haven't decided", ie ask how they voted "last time", eg at the European Elections in June, or the 2017 General Election. Alternatively ask if there is any party they WOULDN'T vote for, eg "Would you vote Labour ?" or "Would you vote Conservative" often gets a very clear response! Also, asking how they voted in the EU Referendum might help: "Are you glad we are leaving the EU, via Brexit, OR do you wish we could stay in the EU, ie to Remain"
- If you have spoken to someone, you MUST enter either a voting intention (even "Won't Say"), or else record that you couldn't speak to them (eg "Refused"). Otherwise, they will get phoned by another of our phone canvassers, as nothing will have been recorded!
Thank you for your help!
We know that the most effective way of winning elections is through direct conversations with voters. As well as giving them information about our values and gathering data which helps us in targeting, it also shows that the Liberal Democrats are present and credible across the whole country. If people believe we can win, we do!