There were seven principal council elections held on the 26th March. The Tories held two seats and lost one to Labour. Labour held three seats and gained one seat from the Tories. The Lib Dems held one seat. There were two Town and Parish Council results reported to ALDC. One Lib Dem hold and one Tory gain from Labour.
In North East Lincolnshire we run the council with the Tories. This did not stop them fighting a very negative but unsuccessful campaign against our candidate, a local ex-headmaster, in the Yarborough ward by-election. We focussed on the basics with teams out every day canvassing, making sure our voters knew the new candidate and that we had sufficient voter ID for an effective polling day operation. The BNP got 17% on a poor two leaflet campaign.
Now the clocks have changed it’s time to get on the doorstep. Whether you’re in a County or Unitary seat for June or it’s using the Euros to prepare for the General Election we need to gather Voter ID. The old rules about “declaring your candidature” starting your election expenses have changed. The regulated period for election expenses for the Euros has already begun and for the Local elections cannot start till 28th April. There is maximum of one week’s difference between the earliest and the latest date on which the regulated period for your local election can start. This is only likely to matter in the very highest spending campaigns. For most it will be more important to maximise their Voter ID by starting canvassing now.
If you’ve not done one recently an easy way to gather voter ID early in the campaign is to use Surveys, particularly for first timers – “knock and drop” style surveys are an easy start for those nervous about knocking on doors. There are a range of “off the shelf” surveys for you to adapt locally available on both ALDC members website at www.aldc.org or on the party’s Extranet site at www.libdems.org.uk . Remember to log your contacts on the million door challenge website. If it rains don’t call it off, get on the phones!