A special blog post from Dave Hodgson, Mayor of Bedford Borough Council.
I know this advice comes from ALDC every year – make sure you have a full slate of candidates standing in every division, but I want to tell you it is possible and you should really try to make this a reality.
It is vital that we stand again everywhere. We can win in seats we had previously written off and that is why I want you to make it your top priority in the weeks ahead.
There are a few steps to make this easier for you:
- Ask – There’s a new pool of people who might be willing to stand due to our surge in membership. I know from discussions with campaigners across the country, a lot of our currently selected candidates have never stood before and are keen to make an impact next May. It is also a question of asking previous candidates, who maybe had a tough past experience, to stand again. It might not be a totally new political climate, but I know from my own experience it definitely feels nicer on the doorsteps. With 78 gains this May and already four by-election gains under our belts since, the tide is turning and it feels very positive. We can only achieve more gains if there are people to stand and fight in town halls for the open, tolerant, united Britain that we believe in. Some top tips from ALDC.
- Share the LGA and ALDC’s Be A Councillor Guide – It simply explains and answers many of those difficult questions about what is involved – everything from the time commitment to casework. It is important we are truthful – work is involved, but it is also great fun.
- Use ALDC’s Approval and Selection toolkit – This has taken some of the best practice from Portsmouth and other successful seats, to help you make sure you are approving and selecting candidates in a consistent way.
- You still need paper candidates – While we are winning in lots of seats, we do still need to make sure we are targeting our resources. The by-election results have not just happened; they have taken a tremendous amount of work. Therefore we need people who are just prepared to stand and not win. Again we just need to make sure we are asking.
- Get the nominations – You require 10 signatures from voters in the ward. The quickest method is just to walk down the street with the register and ask people by knocking on doors. [Keep a record of who signs on CONNECT for next time.] Explain the process: “We want to stand a candidate to give voters a choice and we have to collect 10 signatures to get their name on the ballot paper. It doesn’t mean you have to vote for them or that you necessarily support the party.”
I want you to go away and ensure we have a full selection of candidates next May, to give voters a democratic choice. It is also vital that we all contribute to the Lib Dem national share of the vote and candidates in every seat improves our credibility. Part of this is being seen to be fighting on the broadest possible front.
If you are looking for more help or advice, be sure to contact ALDC at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
And finally good luck! I know a full slate can seem like hard work, but it really does pay dividends in the long run.