Steve Unwin took some of his experienced and battle hardened canvassers to Clacton over the weekend of 20-21 September 2014 to support Douglas Carswell in his quest to become the UK Independence Party’s first Westminster MP.
The team left early Saturday morning and, after nearly four hours on the road including navigating the national car park that is the M25, arrived in the seaside town just before midday.
After reporting to the UKIP office, receiving their instructions and topping up their energy with a large Wetherspoon’s lunch and ale, the team hit the ground running knocking on doors and talking to the public.
The afternoon and evening were split into two phases with a break between 3pm and 4pm to take on food and tea/coffee as well as book into hotels before hitting the doorsteps again.
As darkness later set in the team reported back to the UKIP office only to find they had already pulled stumps and locked up for the night!
So it was back to the hotels to freshen up before going out in search of sustenance, which took (nearly all of) the team until the early hours of Sunday to complete – our brave driver Graham Cobb retired early, but forgiven as he had driven for four hours and would be facing the same on the return the next day.
The following morning was crisp and bright with the video below showing how the weather supported the happy band of canvassers over the weekend (please ignore the huge wind farm off the coast).
Eventually with sore feet and the prospect of a long journey the gang decided it was time to bid their farewells so they took any remaining canvassing literature back to the Clacton UKIP office and handed in the final tranche of the results of their work, eventually leaving sunny Clacton at 6pm.
Overall, despite warnings of potential rain, the weather had been kind to to us – a light breeze kept the temperature down while we walked the streets and a short light drizzle did not deter.
Over the two days and several hundred doors knocked on the North Dorset team found 11 new activists for the Clacton constituency as well as many window and garden poster sites. They also received more pledges of support for Douglas Carswell than they could count.
There were of course some Tory voters that were unhappy about this whole development but the overwhelming majority said they would continue to vote for Douglas. Interestingly there were many people that had already been planning to change and vote for UKIP even before Douglas Carswell jumped ship from Tory to UKIP, as well as people who would never have voted Tory or UKIP before but who now plan to vote for Douglas as a UKIP candidate.