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This helpful video tells Fine Gael candidates how to behave on the doorstep

The party’s own candidates feature as typical voters in the video that was given to local election candidates at meetings around the country recently.

Source: Fine Gael

FINE GAEL HAS produced a detailed video giving local election candidates and canvassers a helpful guide to conducting a successful canvass as the local and European elections loom on 23 May.

The seven-minute video was produced by the party’s in-house digital media department and includes some of its TDs and local election candidates as well as some of its Dublin-based local representatives who act as ordinary voters on the doorsteps.

Details of the video emerged in the Irish Times this morning. It was produced some months ago and was handed out as a DVD to candidates at regional training days as well as sent in the post as part of an ‘election pack’.

TheJournal.ie has obtained a copy of the full video which features Cork South Central TD Jerry Buttimer and Cobh town councillor and former pop star Sinead Sheppard (below) as narrators. Some edited highlights can be viewed in the above video.

In the video, the helpful duo press home that Fine Gael’s “positive message” should be sold “hard on the doorsteps”.

fg video 1 Sinead Sheppard

“Canvassers are the frontline in the struggle to win votes,” Buttimer says. “Successful canvassing is a skill we must learn to develop.”

Candidates are advised to ensure they dress comfortably but smartly, Buttimer (below) noting that “your appearance will make an immediate impression”.

Candidates are also told to canvass between 7 and 9pm – “generally a good time” – and avoid times when people are most likely not to be at home or watching big events on TV.

fg video 2 Jerry Buttimer

Sheppard cautions that it is “easy to recognise a disorganised canvass” and candidates are urged to carry a pen and notebook, a copy of the electoral register, supplementary register forms and their own literature.

Once they’ve knocked on the door – and they should do so only once according to the video – candidates are advised by Buttimer to “be chatty but get down to business quickly”.

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fg video 7 Fine Gael candidate Kate O'Connell and TD Mary Mitchell-O'Connor canvass their party colleague Samantha Long.

The video details how there are three types of voter that canvassers will meet on the doorstep – the ‘supporter’, the ‘non-supporter’ and the ‘undecided’. Fine Gael candidates play the three types of voter in the instructional video.

Rathmines/Rathgar candidate Samantha Long plays the ‘supporter’, Rathfarnham-based councillor Anne-Marie Dermody plays the ‘non-supporter’ while Blackrock candidate Maurice Dockrell plays the ‘undecided’ voter.

fg video 4 Samantha Long plays the 'supporter'

Sheppard warns that canvassers should not be “trapped by spoilers – supporters of other parties” and says that non supporters “will keep you for long periods just to waste your time”.

“There is no substitute for the human touch, it is better than any ad campaign or poster,” she concludes.

fg video 6 Councillor Neale Richmond canvasses the 'undecided' voter - played by one of his party colleagues

Councillor Neale Richmond, who features in the video (above), admits that while the video is “cringy” it is a “useful and practical” guide.

“Especially for candidates who are new to politics,” he added.

Read: Here’s how candidates have been getting around the law on posters ahead of May’s elections

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Read: 11 pictures that prove the election trail is an odd place

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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