Is voter id/GOTV worthwhile?

I am receiving notices from comrades planning to travel to Batley & Spen to help Labour’s ground campaign. I wish them well. It’s part of Momentum’s mythology that they almost won it for Labour in 2017 with the new ground campaign but how useful is it?

There’s probably something to learn from the London Elections earlier this year and I concentrated on my ward earlier this year.

Common wisdom is that it makes between 2% and 6% difference, but here are some papers that suggest differently.

This is based on US field work, The Minimal Persuasive Effects of Campaign Contact in General Elections: Evidence from 49 Field Experiments by Kalla & Brookman. This is a publisher landing page with an abstract, and this, Most Campaign Outreach Has Zero Effect on Voters is a review in the Atlantic.

It may be a mistake to draw too much from this, as the Atlantic Review suggests that GOTV is useful, it’s just that persuasion is a problem.

If and when I find more, I’ll add these papers.

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