100 days to work, 100 days to win

One hundred days until the local elections and the most likely date for the General Election: May 6th.

And, whilst blogs, websites, Facebook and the rest of it will play a supporting role, our real battles will be fought on the ground in Liberal Democrat held and target seats up and down the country. It will be fought with leaflets, target mailings, canvassing, posters, phone calls and getting the vote out on polling day. Even email – extremely effective at reaching local audiences in marginal seats – needs that ground work to build up the list of addresses in the first place.

We’re frequently told that “where we work, we win” – and it’s true.

You only have one vote; but by giving over some of your time over the next hundred days to delivering leaflets, knocking on doors or doing any of the many other tasks that go into a modern election campaign, you can persuade hundreds of people to vote Lib Dem who otherwise wouldn’t have done so. Even something as simple as explaining to a neighbour how you fill in a ballot paper helps win us votes.

The more time and effort you put in, the more votes you’ll swing.

Here’s my challenge to everyone who wants to see the Lib Dems do well in May.

Think about whatever you were planning to for the party and, instead, do more. A good deal more.

If you live in a held or target seat, get out and help them. If the Lib Dems don’t have a realistic chance of victory in your area, get in touch with a seat that does. If you can’t travel, do some phone canvassing.

If you’re able, why not make a donation? Our candidates will, in many cases, be up against a Conservative Party spending well over £100,000 in each constituency between now and May, never mind what they’ll spend nationally.

Fun as it might be to run every campaign on a shoestring, we need serious money to fight serious campaigns.

All the polling evidence is that the Lib Dems have our best chance in nearly a century. It’s entirely realistic to think we can increase our number of MPs and even hold the balance of power in a hung parliament.

A hundred days that could see a fairer Britain and a reformed political system.

But it isn’t going to happen unless we work, and work hard.

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This entry was posted in General Election and Op-eds.


  • Anthony Aloysius St 26th Jan '10 - 1:14pm

    “It’s entirely realistic to think we can increase our number of MPs and even hold the balance of power in a hung parliament.”

    I’d be surprised if any independent commentator expected the Lib Dems to increase their parliamentary representation, considering the current state of the polls.

    But what concerns me more is how Nick Clegg would use his influence in a hung parliament. The Financial Times now characterises Clegg as an “ultra-hawk” on the question of the deficit. The implication of that would be that the Lib Dems would push a minority government – even a minority Tory government – in the direction of even more “savage” cuts than it would naturally favour. Is that really what the party as a whole wants? Frankly, I find that quite unbelievable.

  • If I may give a further hint to activists and campaigns organisers: If somebody contacts your office offering help, act on it.

    There is nothing happening in my constituency, so I have contacted four neighbouring seats, two of which are targets, offering help on action days or whenever they have an office open so I can collect leaflets.

    Other than a general “Oh yes, we’re probably doing something on Saturday” from my closest seat, but with no further details forthcoming, I have heard nothing.

    Perhaps councillors are jealously guarding their deliveries so they don’t have to go door-knocking? (Although I have offered help with that too…)

    Seriously though, this is a huge issue right across the country – I have seen it in all but the best run campaigns.

  • James Shaddock 27th Jan '10 - 10:11am

    Then those organisers/councillors are being stupid Helen.

    We gladly welcome outside help down here in Portsmouth, all the time, not just for the General Election. A few extra people can make such a difference. So everyone do come and visit. There will be tea.

  • Hey Helen, if you live anywhere near North London you’ll be welcomed with open arms in Camden!

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