With the Vote Leave campaign edging ahead in the most recent three opinion polls, a key list of 230 specific Penarth residents was last night being targeted and persuaded to vote “Remain”.
The operation is being undertaken by the “Wales Stronger in Europe” campaign ( the “cross party” version of Vote Remain – the ones that use green posters and logos)
Out on the streets of Penarth last night a “ Wales Stronger in Europe” team led by veteran Labour campaign organiser Stewart Odawally, been selectively canvassing a very precise list of 230 local residents whom their sophisticated computer research has flagged up as well-worth calling-on personally.
For Stewart, who once lived in Penarth and knows these streets well, working with people who are normally political opponents – and defending David Cameron on the doorsteps – is a novel experience and something which has taken former party foes on both sides a bit of getting used to.
The key weapon is that data: a computer-produced roster of specific Penarth residents who are thought to support “Vote Remain” – but who are only “moderately likely” or even “unlikely” to actually turn out and vote.
A total of 230 people in the St Augustine’s are deemed to fit this profile and they’re the ones whom the doorsteppers were last night hoping to persuade to turn out and vote on June 23rd.
The 230 “targets” have no idea they’re in the cross-hairs of the canvassing operation. They’re not necessarily identified as being supporters of any particular political party. The list of their identities and addresses and probable outlook has been distilled-out and refined using sophisticated computer models.
Meanwhile the political campaign Labour In for Britain – is also targeting specific individuals in a similar way – but delivering “different messages” – selected to be better suited to its own refined data-set of persuadable target-individuals.
Within the Vale of Glamorgan polling experts see Penarth as a “fertile area” which they believe has a relatively high ratio of well-educated and public sector professionals ; people whom, it’s believed, are more likely than not to want to stay “in” .
For the Penarth’s pavement-persuaders though, the aim is to ensure that on June 23rd, all their target individuals actually behave as those computer programs predict they will.