Are elections won and lost by the leaflets hard working volunteers are delivering around the country during this election?

For the last few years I have been reading and studying marginal gains in sport as opposed to my old job of marginal gains in politics which has a completely different meaning! However, as the pile of leaflets requiring delivery started to build up and the sense of “how can this effort make a difference” started to kick in, I realised that in the tightest of contests you never know which bit of the campaign makes a vital difference to one or two crucial voters. Was it the TV debate, the leaflet, the telephone call or canvass from the candidate. Was it knocking them out on election day or calling to remind them to post their postal vote? I guess we will never know. We know overall that there is a differential turnout when people are contacted more often during a campaign, so its worth the effort. But unless somebody can show me some hard evidence I am not sure which bit of the this complex jigsaw of a campaign is the big winner!

Once again today I heard someone saying they hadn’t seen the ‘candidate on their doorstep’. Although I have blogged the maths on this before I will do so again in a separate post tied in with why campaigns are much more targeted these days.

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