Local Ground Game Analysis - Tony Fitzgerald Case Study
Tony Fitzgerald is a three-time elected local representative for Fianna Fail in the Cork City North West constituency. His ward area covers circa 10,000 voters. His work ensures he is very embedded in community life and manages many local issues for his constituents on their behalf. Potholes, street lighting, flood defenses and anti-social behavior are his stock in trade among a multitude of other matters. He has even been known to write job references for local people when needed.
In the local election campaign of 2014, Tony decided to use a canvassing technology to better collect doorstep data and manage his volunteers. A strong cohort of family and friends have always been central to Tony’s election campaigns but this time around he wanted to make it as easy as possible for them to be efficient in their field operations.
From campaign kick-off in March, to election day in May, the team used a canvassing app on their mobile phones to take down voter information, do polling and log voter issues. The system dashboard allowed him to map out the ward online and cut areas for the attention of his canvassing teams. At the end of every canvassing session, Tony was then able to pull up the ward map and show the canvassers how much of the ward had been covered and the response level from the voters in each area. This was a powerful motivational tool for his entire team in seeing their progress and knowing that the information they had collected was all stored in their database.
Additionally, the canvass team was amazed to find all the voter issues that they had logged while out in the field had been seen in real-time by the HQ staff and responded to. Coming back to find responses all written up and ready to be posted that evening to the voter gave a great sense of achievement and purpose to the team as a whole.
Of the 10,000 voters in the ward the canvassing team successfully canvassed 6,000 voters and were able to predict the election outcome to within three votes a week prior to the election! Tony’s foresight in using political technology to run his election campaign paid off when he was elected in May and he plans to use the technology throughout his term of office to continue to manage voter outreach and constituency issues.