Tower Hamlets

Case Study

Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets is a London borough covering much of the traditional East End, with an electorate of nearly 200,000. It is a diverse borough with a highly mobile population.

Maintaining a complete and accurate electoral register is a challenge and the borough was keen to improve the return rate for the Household Enquiry Form (HEF) and Invitation to Register (ITR).

Door knocking with paper forms was time consuming and costly, so in 2015 Tower Hamlets decided to test the use of mobile tablets for canvassers. The Council purchased the Mobile Canvasser App and 40 tablets for use by canvassers for the second door knocking stage. There were 76 canvassers in total, 40 were given tablets and the remaining 36 used traditional paper forms.

Results

  • Nearly 2.5 times as many HEFs and nearly 22 times as many initial registration applications were completed on mobile devices by comparison with paper forms
  • The Council made a return on its investment in the first year with a net saving estimated at £30,000 after taking account of the cost of the App, hosting and tablets
  • Responses were automatically synced with Xpress Register so the canvasser did not need to return and handover paperwork for manual processing
  • Staff that previously needed to prepare and process forms were freed up for other operational needs
  • Canvassers completed their rounds faster.

Due to the success of the tablets, the 2016 door knocking stage was conducted using tablets for all 107 canvassers. The return rates were much higher than previous years and produced one of the highest canvass returns for the borough. The savings were estimated at around £38,000.

What our client thinks

The use of tablets and the Mobile Canvasser App had a clear impact on the outcomes of our door
knocking stage, saving us time and money while increasing returns. With access to real-time data,
canvassers could work more efficiently, using accurately planned routes to target non-responders.
“The App undoubtedly makes canvassing more efficient and professional. The canvassers that were using
tablets loved being paper-free and the residents liked the speed and ease of the process, especially as it
does not require a signature or further forms to be sent to them. The App has more than proved its worth
and we continue to use it with pride.

Louise Stamp, Head of Electoral Services at London Borough of Tower Hamlets