Parties work for every vote in Tower Hamlets mayoral election

EVERY vote counts in every election and the five parties vying for votes in today’s mayoral election are trying to get every supporter out as political activists are predicting a low turn out.

They use the traditional method of “knocking up “ supporters - giving them a call on election day and reminding them to go out and vote and even offering to drive them to the polling station.

The Green party campaign co-ordinator Maggie Crosbie said she feared there would be a low turn out and described how many voters were unaware about the election or what it meant as she and the Green candidate Alan Duffell knocked on doors.

“There is a lot of apathy.”

But she added: “We are offering lifts if people are not able to get out to vote otherwise.”

The Conservative candidate Neil King said his party would be giving a lift to a voter who used an oxygen cylinder but was adamant that she would not use a postal vote.

The Liberal Democrats also target areas where they know they have supporters.

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Candidate John Griffiths said this is a huge task as the electorate covers two parliamentary constituencies, but his campaigners were trying to raise awareness of the election.

“We do offer a lift service in the election period to carry people to and fro to the polling station, but it’s about half a dozen to ten people, usually elderly people.”

Ohid Ahmed, who is helping to run Independent candidate Lutfur Rahman’s campaign, said there was little demand for lifts as everywhere was so close in Tower Hamlets.

Cllr Ahmed is a veteran campaigner for the Labour party and ran as a candidate in Suffolk West in this year’s General Election.

He said he has never really experienced much demand for lifts to get to the polling station, although they were available if needed.

Activists were knocking on people’s doors to urge them to vote for their candidate.

And Graham Taylor the chairman of Tower Hamlets Labour party which is fielding Helal Abbas as its candidate said “a handful” of people would use lifts to get to the polls.

He said he thought the residents he spoke to were aware of the election and the Labour party encouraged people with difficulties in getting to the polls to apply for postal votes.