Richmond Park: Day in the Life of a Parliamentary Candidate

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For the past two and a half weeks, Claire Halliwell HQ Manager here at ALDC has been working in Richmond Park as candidate aide for Sarah Olney. I caught up with Claire at KickStart to find out a bit more about life on the campaign trail.

“It is very busy! Every day is different and maximising our time is absolutely crucial,” said Claire.  Below is a bit of a run down of just one day.

 

7am – meeting commuters heading to work at one of the seven stations in the constituency.  It has been really positive with people recognising Sarah and pledging their support.

 

8:30am – head to breakfast in a different local café every day.  Talking to local people has been really enjoyable.  We also make time to go through  the schedule for the day and brief press lines.

 

9:30am – the morning usually sees us meeting a party VIP.  Tim Farron, Paddy Ashdown, Don Foster and Catherine Bearder have all met with us and this is usually when we meet with the press as well.

 

11:00am – we have a quick coffee and check if there is anything we need to catch up on with local agent Cllr Gareth Roberts.

 

11:30am – this is a great time to go and meet a local business. Talking about the implications of Brexit has been really important in these meetings.

 

12:15 – lunch time! Again, we make sure we grab a bite in a different location each day to meet as many people as possible.

 

1pm – we head to HQ to catch up with the campaign team and say thank you to as many of our great volunteers as possible.  We also make sure we have everything we need for canvassing later on in the day.

 

1:30pm – more media! From ‘Vanessa’ to ‘Radio 5 Live’ making sure Sarah gets as much media coverage as possible.

 

2:30pm – we head to one of the schools in the constituency to chat to parents on the school run.

 

3pm – time to hit the doors! The response has been phenomenal with people taking posters and agreeing to take stake boards.

 

4:30pm – time for another quick coffee.  We use this time to review how the day has gone and Sarah will make phone calls to thank people for donations and help.

 

5:30pm – preparing well for hustings meetings is crucial to ensure we are ready to take the fight to our opponents.  Working through key lines and having some time to reflect works really well.

 

7pm – off to a hustings meeting. We did one recently with the Kew Society. Lots of questions ranging from Heathrow, Brexit to why Sarah is the best person for the job.

 

9pm – we may try and head for a drink with the army of volunteers that have shown such dedication to the campaign before debriefing for the day and getting ready for the next!

 

So what is the secret of success for a candidates aide? “Being really organised, having lots of posters and membership forms, drinks and snacks to keep us going and above all, bags of enthusiasm!”

 

Everyone at ALDC would like to wish Sarah and the whole team the best of luck for Thursday – you can sign up to help Sarah win tomorrow here – http://www.libdems.org.uk/rp-polling-day

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