Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Prahran: The Clem Show continues

The Clem Newton-Blog DVD has arrived in the post today for me, and presumably for most of Prahran (his only direct mail out this campaign, apparently).

The CNB motorised billboards have hit the streets.

The "Vote Ted... Vote Clem" ad is in the (city-wide) Beat magazine. This is a cashed-up campaign which continues to roll on relentlessly. All of a sudden the 4.3% swing required is looking very gettable.

It's rather prophetic to read the words of Robert Ray, the Labor veteran who was commenting on the 2002 state campaign for the The Age. Two days before the election Ray focussed on the then-challenger Talk to Me Tony Lupton, and the way he ran a strong local campaign:

Communicating with the electorate is what it's all about. An introductory card, followed up by a community survey, several leaflets on specific issues and direct mail from both Lupton and the Premier mean few residents of Prahran don't know of Labor's campaign.

A local campaign has many facets other than just leafleting. Tony Lupton has knocked on over 2000 doors, conducted policy forums, met residents' groups and spent every morning of the campaign at local railway stations. Before all this, he was involved in street chats at the Prahran Market, Toorak Village and the Hawksburn shopping centre. More than 1000 telephone calls have been made to undecided voters.

For many candidates this would be a major chore but a select few, like Lupton, revel in it. Meeting people, mixing it up, copping the odd bit of abuse is all part of the campaign. Lupton would have been buoyed by the fact that Premier Bracks has visited the electorate three times.


Perhaps Newton-Blog has stolen Lupton's campaign manual.

Word on the street, though, is that Talk to Me Tony has been hitting the phones hard, a technique that will be just about invisible to those of us watching the campaign until we see its impact on polling day.

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