The 2019 set of elections are ones where we can really move forward as a Party. We have over 8,000 wards to fight and the potential to make a lot of gains. There are seats up in metropolitan boroughs, districts and the important Bedford mayoral contest too.

We have four aims for our 2019 campaign:

  1. More campaigners
  2. More candidates
  3. More councillors
  4. More councils

To stand a chance of achieving this, we must start now.

SUMMER SURVEY

It’s the perfect time to be out knocking on doors – hopefully in the glorious sunshine. Use our latest survey template, but remember to adapt it for your area, especially if there are big local issues to address.

Remember to think:

  • How are you going to deliver it? Knock and drop, freepost return or just straight delivery? Each affects the likely return rate.
  • Why you are asking the questions? What are you going to do with the responses to better inform your campaigning?
  • How are you going to respond to everyone? Report back? Street letters? Make sure you plan this to make it as easy as possible to reply to residents, so that you’re not just asking their opinions, but acting upon them too.

TRAINING

We have a variety of training opportunities coming up over the summer and autumn to help up-skill budding and experienced campaigners alike.

  • Motivate Training Days: our bespoke one day training events, taking place across the country throughout the summer and autumn. They are free to attend and open to all. Find out more/see upcoming dates.
  • PagePlus One Day Training, Friday 14 September, Brighton. Free and exclusive for ALDC members, but advance booking essential. Find out more/book.
  • Connect One Day Training, Friday 14 September, Brighton. Free and exclusive for ALDC members, but advance booking essential. Find out more/book.
  • Autumn Kickstart, 23-25 November, Staffordshire. Limited early-bird prices start at £130 – act fast to secure one. Find out more/book.
  • Agents Weekend Training, 23-25 November in Staffordshire. As with Kickstart subsidised places are limited please book early. Find out more/book.

RECRUIT, RECRUIT, RECRUIT

Most audits show weaknesses in our delivery networks. People move, people burn out, etc. It’s good to use the summer to get out on the doorsteps and speak to Lib Dem voters, thanking them for their support and asking for their help.

Recruitment, like most successful campaigning, is more straightforward than you may think. You just have to ask people! The more people you ask, the more members and helpers you will recruit. It’s as simple as that.

Of course, it helps if you have a strong local campaigning record or sitting councillors and so on, but that is just an added bonus to the simple rule of asking people.

Before you start finding new volunteers you need to set your goals:

  • Where do you need deliverers?
  • How many deliverer-less rounds do you have?
  • Where have you got people delivering, instead of doing other jobs?

Use this information to think about which areas to target.

Always follow up any offer of help with a phone call or personal visit to see how much they are prepared to deliver. If possible, you should use the visit to hand over their first delivery round. It’s not good practice to keep someone who’s volunteered to help, waiting months before you ask them to do anything.

Contact people who you have helped with casework or who have supported one of your local campaigns. Approaching people who you already have some kind of relationship with is always more effective.

Make sure there’s an alternative to delivering, in case someone’s unable to volunteer for this. The other roles to fill could be – a new artworker, someone to help with social media, etc.

Top tips for recruiting:

  • Be clear about what needs to be done – in meetings, members’ newsletters and explain what skills/time is needed.
  • It sounds simple, but asking for help actually works.
  • Always say thank you.
  • Up-skill your team. We’re putting on our largest ever training programme this year. Find out more and book.

GET YOUR CANDIDATES IN PLACE

It’s important as a democratic party that we have a fair, open and transparent process for choosing the people who stand for us in elections. The procedure is not designed to be complicated or onerous; it’s intended to ensure we get the best candidates and that everyone who puts themselves forward is given an equal opportunity of being selected.

Many areas with local elections next year will be well on the way to selecting their candidates. However, for those of you who have yet to start, there are some useful materials in our website’s Resources section.

Even if you are simply looking for a slate of ‘paper’ candidates, running a basic approval and selection process is important to make sure that you don’t have anyone standing who may cause problems for the party later.