With the turkey eaten, that hideous jumper bought by one of your relatives taken back to the shop and the repeats of Mary Poppins and James Bond watched, now is the time to make sure you are all set for a flying start to your 2011 election campaign. To help you out, here are our tips for what you should be doing in the New Year.
- Get up to date. Even the best organised campaigns can fall behind at times, and so now is a good time to get completely up to date. Make sure you deliver those delivery rounds that are left over. Go through your casework and reply to those letters that you haven’t done yet. People often have a fairly quiet month in January after the excesses of Christmas and so getting a letter or a leaflet from the Lib Dems may be more likely to be read properly. You’ll feel in a lot more motivated to get out on the doorstep knowing that there’s nothing outstanding that you should have done before Christmas or the New Year. Another good ‘getting up to date’ job is to make sure EARS is up to date and outstanding canvass data is entered before the new electoral register is ready to be merged. Make sure that your local party secretary has updated them with who your local EARS or Data Officer is. If you haven’t heard from EARS yet, don’t forget that your EARS Officer can find out the status of your new electoral register on their website.
- Make sure you incorporate “Yes to Fairer Votes” material in your leaflets. Whilst AV may not be our first choice of electoral system it’s an improvement on First Past the Post. Winning the referendum is crucial and is a political issue that will appeal to many more people than just committed Liberal Democrats. It is also an issue that is important to many of the new people who joined the party or voted Lib Dem for the first time last May. There is already a host of materials that you can simply drop straight in to your leaflets. These can be found on the ALDC members’ website as well as on Huddle.
- Recruit postal voters. We can’t emphasise enough how important it is to get our supporters voting by post (and that includes candidates and councillors who should be too busy on polling day to vote). Recent council by-elections have shown that the winner is usually the one who is best at getting their supporters out to vote. With postal voters significantly more likely to vote than someone who goes on the day, it is important to persuade as many of our supporters as possible to vote by post. The ALDC members site includes lots of postal vote good practice from successful election campaigns, as well as templates you can adapt for your own area. Click here for details.
There’s now just one week to go in the Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election. The result of this by-election will set the tone for the next 4 months. Your help is needed on the ground to make sure that tone is a positive one for the Liberal Democrats going into May’s elections. The feedback from the doorstep is very positive, but it is going to be decided by which party’s supporters turn out and vote next Thursday. Your help is needed now to Get Out The Vote. This time it really will make all the difference. Not for distribution, but the latest canvass statistics we have had from the campaign show that we are heading for a result just as close as in May – only 103 votes in it. At the moment, it could be 103 votes either way. Every MP, MEP, Peer and experienced party campaigner who has been through the door in Oldham has left clearly saying that this can definitely be won – but only if enough people turn up to help. The campaign has prioritised canvassing and as a result we have a large Shuttleworth for Polling Day. Your help over the next week will be crucial to how many of those people we can get out to vote. You can find out more on Elwyn Watkins’ website.
Finally, we’ve uploaded to the ALDC members’ website a copy of a document that outlines the Lib Dem manifesto promises put in to practice since we joined the government. This is useful background material for anyone who asks what we’ve achieved. A coalition government of course means give and take and we don’t always get things our own way, but it’s striking how much we’ve achieved already.